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Rail News Home Amtrak

5/20/2010



Rail News: Amtrak

Amtrak Virginia's Lynchburg route exceeds rider projections


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Amtrak Virginia’s new Lynchburg route has exceeded its annual ridership and revenue performance targets within the first six months of operation, according to Amtrak.

Ridership data compiled in March shows that the route, which provides daily service from Lynchburg, Va., as far north as Boston, reached 55,025 passengers during the first six months of operation. The original ridership goal was 51,000 passengers annually.

In addition, the service exceeded its $2.58 million annual revenue goal by generating revenue of $2.84 million, Amtrak officials said.

When the service began in October, monthly ridership was 8,585. By March, it had risen to 11,365, the highest monthly ridership to date. Monthly ridership over the six-month period averaged 9,171.

The surplus in operating funds will be used to help fund operating shortfalls over the next three years of demonstration service, said Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) Director Thelma Drake in a prepared statement.

DRPT has contracted Amtrak to bring additional passenger-rail service to the area over a three-year demonstration period. The deal includes the Lynchburg train and a route between Richmond and the Northeast Corridor scheduled to be launched in summer. If the service is successful and additional funding becomes available, the Lynchburg train could be extended to Roanoke and the Richmond train might be extended to Norfolk.


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