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Rail News: Amtrak

Caltrans reports record Amtrak ridership, revenue for Thanksgiving holiday


Even as gas prices fell to their lowest level in six years, Californians rode trains in unprecedented numbers over the Thanksgiving holiday, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) recently announced.

November ridership and revenue reports for Amtrak California showed "impressive gains," Caltrans officials said in a press release. The Pacific Surfliner registered its highest ridership and revenue in more than a decade, while the San Joaquin — which travels from both Sacramento and San Francisco to Bakersfield — posted its second-highest ridership and revenue in over a decade.

"Intercity passenger rail is an important component of a sustainable, multimodal transportation system for today and the future," said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. "More and more Californians are increasingly seeing train travel as a smart option."

Typically, declining gas prices have had a negative impact on ridership. Gas prices for the Thanksgiving holiday were just over $3 a gallon, down nearly 15 percent from 2013, but ridership and revenue were up on all Amtrak California routes.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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