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Amtrak Northeast Regional service posts May ridership increase

Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation officials attribute the ridership boost to discounted ticket prices, promotions and improved onboard amenities.
Photo – Amtrak


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.