Wednesday, March 04, 2009 Amtrak May Cut Ticket Prices Again as Ridership Drops

Story in Bloomberg today by Chris Dolmetsch titled "Amtrak May Cut Ticket Prices Again as Ridership Drops", some points:

The article states that passengers are switching to slower, cheaper regional trains from the Acela. Amtrak had set an annual ridership record for the sixth straight year in the 12 months ending September 30. Amtrak states that passenger loads began falling in November 2008 as the economy worsened and gas prices dropped. Projections show passenger loads were down 1.6 percent through February for the fiscal year to date, including an 8.4 percent decline on the Northeast Corridor.

Amtrak says it isn't seeing a similar drop on its long- distance trains. Projections show passenger loads on those routes are up 6.1 percent for the fiscal year to date, with a 3.5 percent increase in February. Projections show February ridership fell 6.9 percent compared with the same month in 2008, with a 13 percent decrease on the Northeast Corridor.

To keep load factors steady Amtrak is examining whether to reduce fares on all of its routes.

I think this is not unexpected news. A bad economy means people travel less and when they do travel they'll take the cheaper options. Looks like Amtrak will take the proper pricing steps it needs to so as to remain competitive and keep their ridership numbers up.

Some comments on this same Bloomberg article in Trains for America blog...


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