Friday, May 02, 2008

N.C. rail ridership climbing

Amid all the hand-wringing about high gas prices and argument over whether a gas tax holiday this summer would help much, comes word from the Rail Division at the N.C. Department of Transportation that rail ridership in the state continues to climb.

"With train service auto competitive, more and more travelers are exercising their transportation options and taking the train. The state-sponsored North Carolina’s Amtrak Service is seeing consistent increases in the numbers of passengers riding intercity trains, with ridership up more than 20 percent over this time last year," the department said in a news release.

“More and more travelers are finding that our trains provide a timely, safe and environmentally-friendly alternative means of transportation,” N.C. Department of Transportation Secretary Lyndo Tippett said. “We have seen double digit growth in ridership and passenger revenues over the past six months alone.”

"More than 31,000 travelers rode either the Piedmont or Carolinian in March, a 20 percent increase over the 23,036 passengers who chose the train last March. Ridership was strongest on the weekends. On the Piedmont (trains 73 and 74), which runs daily between Raleigh and Charlotte, ridership was up almost 28 percent over last March from 4,619 to 5,901. Ridership on the Carolinian, (trains 79 and 80), which runs daily between Charlotte and Raleigh and continues to the Northeast, increased 41 percent from 18,417 to 25,989."

"From October 2007 through March 2008, ridership on the Piedmont was up nearly 28 percent and the Carolinian was up more than 20 percent. Passenger revenues increased by almost 23 percent for the Piedmont and by almost 24 percent for the Carolinian."

"Continued infrastructure improvements on the Raleigh to Charlotte route have reduced the scheduled travel time to 3 hours and 9 minutes, including station stops. NCDOT has also partnered with local communities to build new or restore existing historic train stations along the corridor."

Patrick Simmons, head of the Rail Division, added in an e-mail, "Price of gas+having the service in place (nice cars, stations, improving reliability and competitive travel times) makes this
possible."

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

With living, fuel and food costs climbing, take home salaries lagging, diversion of highway taxes and road funds to social engineering efforts, and minimally improved efforts to combat DMV's gifting of NC licenses to the large (and still increasing) illegal alien sector - a doubling in ridership should be achieved.

Al Qaeda is pulling for mass transit and so are all the career criminals who have been "paroled" by NC's failed corrections system.

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