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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Amtrak expects Acela ridership boosts from new marketing campaigns


During fiscal-year 2003, Amtrak recorded the highest-ever ridership in its 32-year history at more than 24 million passengers. That trend carried over to the beginning of FY2004, when Amtrak recorded its busiest-ever November and busiest week between Nov. 25 and Dec. 1.

To keep the ridership momentum going, Amtrak has implemented a new marketing campaign. Amtrak Guest Rewards members who purchase two round trip tickets on Acela Express or Metroliner between Feb. 15 and April 15 will receive a free round trip on Acela Express between June 15 and Aug. 31.

Qualifying round trips must be taken between Washington, D.C., and New York City; Boston and New York City; Philadelphia and Boston; and Washington, D.C., and Boston. There is no limit on the number of free certificates riders can earn.

Meanwhile, Amtrak also launched a new Acela advertising campaign, designed to reflect a back-to-basics marketing approach. Relying on attention-grabbing, colorful illustrations with retro and art deco images, the ads list the benefits of choosing Acela over other transportation modes.

Amtrak expects to allocate the majority of the campaign budget to newspaper advertising in six Northeast markets. The railroad also will run radio ads in Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington; other ads will run in print, billboard and online outlets.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 2/23/2004