Amtrak Tracking for My Commute Between New York City and Philadelphia

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Amtrak to rehab Pelham Bay Bridge along Northeast Corridor in the Bronx reports that $10 million will be spent by Amtrak to strengthen and repair the more than 100-year-old Pelham Bay Bridge's piers, piles, abutments and foundations that support the tracks, transmission lines and catenary wires. The project will make the bridge more reliable and reduce maintenance on the structure and will be completed by October 2010. Wikimapia has a satellite view of the bridge from Google Maps.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Amtrak extends fare sale again, will now be on for more than one year

Amtrak, which cut fares up to 25 percent on its Northeast corridor in
February, is extending those cuts for the second time this year to
March 31 meaning the lower fares will be in place for over a year. The
lower fares require a 14 day advanced reservation and there are
blackout days around the upcoming holidays.

It's a good idea for Amtrak to discount its fares to boost ridership
numbers but two week advance notice limits its success. My last post
talked about buses increasing ridership along the NEC and Amtrak
should take this seriously. NEC is Amtrak's money maker, they need to
do more than just this temporary fare discount to ensure that they
don't lose market share to bus service.

Amtrak's Northeast regional trains carried 640,000 passengers in
October, up from September and October 2008. System-wide, Amtrak saw a
decline in passengers last month.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Bus companies finding a 'new demographic' - bus service taking business away from Amtrak?

A UPI story states that long-distance bus travel has risen 10 percent, while travel by train and plane has declined in the past year. The Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development said bus passenger numbers were up while Amtrak reported an 8 percent decline in passengers on trains January through August the Boston Globe reported. Among its findings the Chaddick Institute said bus travel is cheap and consumer technology is widely available on buses. Buses were the first public mode of travel to have free WiFi, ticket sales rose 67 percent on the Boston to New York route in the past 12 months. More than 55 percent of the riders are 18 to 34 years old and "tech savvy," the Boston Globe said.

I can personally verify this. I took Bolt Bus from Boston to NYC and it was pretty good and only $15 one way and it did have free WiFi (I didn't use it but a lot people had laptops and seemed to be using WiFi). Amtrak needs to get WiFi. The bus takes just about the same time between many cities along the NEC, is way cheaper, and has WiFi. Competition is great, this will force Amtrak to get their shit together and offier WiFi on their trains. All mobile phones have WiFi now, everyone has a mobile phone, WiFi is a must have for Amtrak for 2010, it's baffling why Amtrak can't pull this off and add this service and with the all the fed money we're giving them you need to do this. Amtrak will look like dolts if they can't do this.