WASHINGTON - Despite the lingering effects of the Great Recession, Amtrak ridership hit an all-time high in fiscal 2010.
According to the Georgia Association of Railroad Passengers, Amtrak carried 28.7 million riders during the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, up 5.7% from fiscal 2009. Ticket revenue set an all-time record too, and all four Amtrak trains serving Georgia shared in the gains.
The Palmetto, running between New York, Washington and Savannah, showed the biggest surge: it carried 10.6% more riders, and ticket revenue was up a whopping 23.1%. The Silver Meteor and the Silver Star, both running between New York, Washington, Savannah and Miami, enjoyed ridership gains of 6.5% and 6.0% respectively, and revenue increases of 8.1% and 10.2%. On the
New York-Washington-Atlanta-New Orleans route - which stops in Toccoa, Gainesville and Atlanta - the Crescent recorded a 4.2% ridership gain and a 8.3% revenue gain.
Looking at raw numbers, the Silver Star was the most popular Amtrak train serving Georgia, carrying 393,586 passengers during fiscal 2010. The Silver Meteor was next, with 352,286 passengers, followed by the Crescent with 298,688 riders and the Palmetto with 189,468 passengers. The Palmetto s revenues covered about 53% of its costs; the Meteor had a 49% revenue-to-cost ratio; the Star had a 42% ratio and the Crescent had 38% ratio.