Ridership increases on Virginia-funded Amtrak trains

In July, more than 110,000 passenger rides were taken on Amtrak trains whose cost is partially covered through the Commonwealth of Virginia. Amtrak released figures for July this week and that month was the first with two new roundtrip services including an additional train between Roanoke and D.C. that serves Charlottesville. 

Around 27,375 riders took the Roanoke route in July, up 27 percent from 21,654 in June. The year-to-year increase 72.1 percent for a service that also stops in Alexandria, Burke Center, Manassas, Culpeper, and Lynchburg. An expansion to Christiansburg is planned for the next few years. 

The July 2022 numbers were up 31.4 percent over the last summer before the pandemic. A roundtrip service to Newport News was suspended for a portion of the shutdown, but has been resumed. 

“Every route saw an increase in ridership with Newport News topping the list,” reads a press release from Amtrak

Some of the numbers released by Amtrak this week (Credit: Amtrak)

Mike McLaughlin, the chief operating officer of the Virginia Passenger Rail Authority, said the ridership increase demonstrates demand is there for the service.

“With the launch of two new roundtrips and the resumption of another, we know that rail works for the Commonwealth and look forward to further expanding service throughout the state.” 

Before you go: The time to write and research of this article is covered by paid subscribers to Charlottesville Community Engagement. In fact, this particular installment comes from the September 2, 2022 edition of the program. To ensure this research can be sustained, please consider becoming a paid subscriber or contributing monthly through Patreon.

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