Amtrak Crows About Ridership Gains

Amtrak on Tuesday touted ridership gains during fiscal year 2021 in a news release issued two days before a public meeting of its board of directors.

The release, though, presented a mixed picture of the passenger rail carrier’s finances.

Although ridership was up substantially on Amtrak’s three business lines, revenue fell in two of the three.

The report covers the period of Oct. 1, 2021, to Sept.30, 2022, which mirrors the federal fiscal year.

Ridership in the Northeast Corridor rose 110 percent while state corridor services ridership was up 85 percent and long-distance train patronage was up 56 percent.

However, the operating revenue of $2.8 billion in FY2022 was 15 percent below that of FY 2019, the last period to begin before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in March 2020 and sent ridership and revenue plummeting across all business lines.

The report sought to put a positive spin on revenue by saying the adjusted operating earnings at $884.9 million were an 18.2 percent improvement over fiscal 2021 and “$145 million ahead of Amtrak’s FY22 plan due to strong ticket revenue growth.”

The report will be presented to Amtrak’s directors at a meeting on Thursday in St. Louis.

The report released on Tuesday does not provide revenue information by route or business category.

That is consistent with past practices of the carrier to omit this information from public reports.

Earlier this year, Trains magazine reported that information it obtained showed long-distance revenue was up 23 percent in FY2022 compared with FY2019 while revenue for the Northeast Corridor and state corridor services were both down about 30 percent.

The report Amtrak released this week said it expects ridership and revenue to improve above 90 percent of pre-COVID levels by the end of FY2023.

Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: