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Silver Star ridership grows as overall Amtrak demand drops

28 May 2009 9:15 AM | Anonymous

Silver Star ridership grows as overall Amtrak demand drops

By TED JACKOVICS

Published: May 28, 2009

TAMPA - Despite a 10 percent decline in Amtrak ridership in March compared with a year ago, down to 2.2 million passengers, Tampa ridership on Amtrak's Silver Star gained 3.8 percent to 8,423.

The number of Silver Star passengers rose 1.6 percent in March to 31,028, indicating that more than one in four passengers on the train between New York and Miami arrived at or departed from Tampa's Union Station.

"The deepening economic recession, high unemployment, steep cuts in business travel and continued low gasoline prices are increasingly depressing Amtrak demand, and in particular, demand for most short distance trains," the Amtrak performance report for March stated.

On-time performance improvements continue to offset the negative effects of the economy and low gasoline prices on long-distance trains such as the Silver Star, the report said.

Ridership in Amtrak's Northeast region was off 15 percent compared with a year ago. Ridership on the Acela, which travels between Boston and Washington, declined 9 percent in March.

Reporter Ted Jackovics can be reached at (813) 259-7817.



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