Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Charlotte - Raleigh Rail Traffic Up

The article below was in the Charlotte Business Journal, and should be titled "If you make it more convenient, they will ride!"

The new mid-day trains between Raleigh and Charlotte boosted rail travel on Amtrak’s Piedmont line by more than 200 percent during June.

Ridership on trains between North Carolina’s two largest cities climbed from 5,258 in June 2009, to 15,426 in June 2010. Amtrak officials credit the surge to the new mid-day trains, which started running June 5. The new service added two more trains to the four already running. Three of the trains run from Raleigh to Charlotte; the others run from Charlotte to Raleigh.

“The additional trains in the mid-day have given business travelers, families and college students more options to travel via rail,” said State Transportation Secretary Gene Conti. “Ridership gains show when more trains are offered, more travelers will ride.”

The new service, which takes just over three hours to complete and includes stops in Cary, Durham, Burlington, Greensboro, High Point, Salisbury and Kannapolis, is expected to attract 43,000 riders in its first year.

The news comes as Amtrak’s overall train ridership in North Carolina is climbing. For the period of October through June, ridership overall jumped 26 percent, with 65,956 people riding the rails so far this year compared to 52,347 during the same period a year ago.

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