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Rail News: Amtrak
Amtrak Northeast Regional service posts May ridership increase
The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) yesterday announced that nearly 80,000 customers used the Virginia-sponsored Amtrak Northeast Regional intercity rail service in May, a 10 percent increase over May 2018.
The ridership numbers also mark a year-to-date increase of more than 5 percent over the same travel period last year, DRPT officials said in a press release.
DRPT officials attributed the ridership boost to discounted ticket prices for last-minute trips to Virginia destinations, a promotion for Lyft riders to receive a discount to Amtrak stations, improved communications, cleaner trains and the offering of Virginia-based food options.
“Passenger rail is a critical component of Virginia’s multimodal transportation network,” said Virginia Transportation Secretary Shannon Valentine in a press release. “More affordable tickets, improved on-board amenities and better ground transportation connections are making travel by rail more reliable and enjoyable.”
Starting this summer, Amtrak Northeast Regional riders will find better Wi-Fi service on board, officials said. Additional Wi-Fi speed upgrades are expected by 2020.
DRPT and Amtrak partner to provide passenger-rail service throughout Virginia. The line serves stations in Newport News, Norfolk, Richmond and Roanoke, and connects to Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York City.
Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.