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Tri-Rail expects ridership growth in 2003

If year-end figures are any indication, Tri-County Commuter Rail Authority officials believe the agency is on track to grow ridership in 2003, even though the agency is in the midst of its largest-ever construction project.

Tri-Rail recorded fourth-quarter ridership growth of 10.5 percent despite a nationwide trend of decreasing mass-transit ridership.

More passengers are using Tri-Rail’s stations that serve the region’s international airports. Ridership at the West Palm Beach station grew 35 percent; Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport station, 32 percent; and Miami Airport Station ridership, 11 percent.

Since October, Tri-Rail has carried more than 10,000 daily passengers 14 times — something the agency did only once between January and September 2002. Tri-Rail's ridership surpassed 2.6 million last year.

The authority is in the final phase of its $333.8 million Double Track Corridor Improvement Program. Scheduled for completion in 2005, the project will enable Tri-Rail to run trains every 20 minutes during rush hour, and operate more trains on the weekends.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 1/31/2003