Amtrak Reports Ridership, Revenue Gains for First Quarter

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BY STEPHANIE KANG

WASHINGTON -- Amtrak said total intercity ridership rose 3.7% in the first quarter of its fiscal year, from Oct. 1 through Dec. 31, and revenue rose by 9.3% compared with the same period in 1995.

Among the highlights in short- and medium-distance routes, which are financed in part by the states through which they run, were a gain in ridership of 49.5% for the Piedmont train between Charlotte and Raleigh, N.C., and a 40.8% increase on the Chicago-Grand Rapids, Mich., route of the Pere Marquette.

The Kansas City-St. Louis corridor of the Mules and the Ann Rutledge trains posted a 32.4% gain in ridership.

For long-distance trains, Amtrak's California Zephyr from Chicago to Oakland, and its sister trains, the Chicago-Seattle Pioneer and Chicago-Los Angeles Desert Wind, experienced a combined increase in ridership of 13.5% in the first quarter over the same period in 1995.

Despite the overall increase, Amtrak experienced declines in several key markets.

Amtrak's Auto Train from Washington to Florida saw a decrease of 5.9% in ridership in the first quarter and its New York-Miami Silver Meteor's ridership declined 19.2%.

The New York-Miami Silver Star was down 6.9%, and the Sunset Limited, from Los Angeles to Miami, was down 15.4%.

Ridership on Amtrak's Washington-Chicago service declined by 13.7% on the Capitol Limited and 3.5% on the Cardinal. The Lake Shore Limited, between New York and Chicago, had a 5% decrease in ridership.

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