Amtrak posted promising details from its fiscal year, which ended September 30, 2017. The report indicated that the rail giant’s ridership, revenue, and its earnings were at a record high. With 31.7 million passenger trips, this was a 1.5 percent increase from the previous fiscal year. Revenue increased 1.1 percent to $3.2 billion, and earnings rose to $194 million, which is an improvement of 15.7 percent.
The success is a direct result from the company’s recent effort to better its service, luring customers with the promise of comfortable travel with convenience, which include amenities like free Wi-Fi, lots of leg room, and two passenger seating, so no one gets stuck in the middle. Other perks include a guest reward program and a partnership with Lyft – a move that reportedly helped a whopping 80 percent of travelers polled.
The company has been making deals and improvements country-wide. In Illinois, Wisconsin, Oregon, and Washington an agreement was struck entailing the purchase of diesel locomotives for particular lines, which has numerous benefits like comfort and reduced emissions. In Colorado, Amtrak launched the Winter Park Express, which serves 18,000 customers, and improved service to the Northeast Corridor’s popular Acela train.
Over $420 million was spent on repair work and infrastructure plans, which included projects in the New York region (where ridership was at an all time high), and a new facility in Seattle. Also in New York, the beginnings of the long term infrastructure upheaval began at its Penn Station hub, intended to further service improvement. Separately, a six year $1 billion renovation and development deal was put in place for Chicago’s Union Station.
This is the beginning of a larger operation intended create a revenue increase. Plans include investing in tracks and rail stations and an increasing attention to customer service. Due to the success of the Lyft partnership, Amtrak is looking into other travel alliances to help streamline customer travel experience.