US passenger company Amtrak carried nearly 30.2 million passengers in Fiscal Year 2011 ending September 30, marking the highest ridership total since the National Railroad Passenger Corporation started operations in 1971 and the eighth ridership record during the last nine years. Ridership versus the prior year is up by more than five percent – and ticket revenue is up by more than eight percent — despite significant weather related disruptions in the Northeast, Central and Western U.S.
On 13 October in St. Louis, Amtrak recognized a suburban St. Louis woman as the representative 30 millionth passenger. Rochelle Lathan rode the Texas Eagle from Alton, Ill., to Springfield on September 28, the day the 30 million passenger mark was reached.
“Amtrak truly is America’s Railroad®,” said Amtrak Board of Directors Chairman Tom Carper at the St. Louis event. “We were created by Congress to fulfill a vital national transportation need and to connect the nation in ways no other mode of transportation can.”