Rail News

Amtrak Downeaster Beats FY2017 Ridership Goals


PORTLAND, MAINE – The Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority announced today that ridership  of 511,422 on the Amtrak Downeaster for fiscal year 2017 (which ended on June 30, 2017) exceeded FY16 ridership and FY17 ridership goals by 8.8%.   Ticket revenues of $8,620,119 for the same period exceed FY17 goals by and FY2016 performance by 7%.  All-time ridership records were exceeded in the months of July and September in 2016 as well as January, February, April and June of 2017. 

“These results are particularly impressive.” stated NNEPRA Executive Director, Patricia Quinn, “Achieving near-record ridership in a year of low fuel prices and construction-related service interruptions indicates that the Downeaster has come of age in solidifying a durable and loyal customer base.”

The Downeaster experienced its highest fiscal year ridership of 518,572 in FY2014 (July 2013-June 2014) when gas prices averaged about $3.60 per gallon.  The current average is about $2.23 per gallon.

Although Boston is the primary destination for Downeaster riders, there have been increases in visitors travelling to Maine as well.   Ridership on trains typically used by visitors have shown the largest increases, and trends indicate that travelers coming for more than just one day.

NNEPRA reports that improved reliability, changes to schedules and increased frequency to Freeport and Brunswick have contributed to the ridership surge, as well as repeat riders.  Amtrak Customer Satisfaction scores rate the Downeaster among the best in the nation for overall customer satisfaction, cleanliness and friendliness of personnel.