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