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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Amtrak, TriMet and Capitol Corridor report uptick in January ridership


This week, Amtrak, Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet) and the Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority (CCJPA) reported increases in January ridership.

Amtrak's ridership increased 4.6 percent to 2.1 million compared with January 2010 — the 15th consecutive month of ridership growth and the best January on record. The "strong performance" is part of a long-term trend of annual ridership records in seven of the last eight fiscal years, including more than 28.7 million passengers in 2010, Amtrak officials said in a prepared statement.

"The steady rise in ridership demonstrates a growing demand and the ongoing need for a national intercity passenger-rail system," said Amtrak President and Chief Executive Officer Joe Boardman.  

Also reporting higher January ridership was TriMet's MAX and WES lines. Last month, MAX weekly trips were up 4.8 percent; weekday trips, up 4.7 percent; and weekend trips, up 5.2 percent compared with January 2010. On the MAX Green Line, weekday trips jumped 18.8 percent and weekend trips, 13.6 percent. On the WES computer-rail line, both weekly and weekday rush-hour trips rose 12.2 percent.

And in northern California, CCJPA officials announced a new ridership threshold was set last month with 130,860 riders — an 11 percent increase vs. a year ago — making January 2011 the best January in the Capitol Corridor's history.

"The double-digit spike in ridership helped the Capitol Corridor achieve a 13 percent increase in revenue," CCJPA Chair Bob Franklin said in a prepared statement.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 2/11/2011