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Yes, Virginia, People Do Take Rail

According to Docuticker, Amtrak celebrated it’s sixth straight year of ridership increases and set a new ridership record, no doubt fueled by higher energy prices and the extreme hassle of air travel:

Amtrak ridership in Fiscal Year 2008 increased to 28,716,407, marking the sixth straight year of gains and setting a record for the most passengers using Amtrak trains since the National Railroad Passenger Corporation started operations in 1971. The fiscal year ended September 30, 2008.

All Amtrak trains across the system saw increases in ridership. The 28.7 million total for the period October 1, 2007 – September 30, 2008, topped the 25,847,531 for the previous 12 months by 11.1 percent. Total ticket revenue for the fiscal year reached $1.7 billion, a 14.2 percent increase over the $1.5 billion in FY07.

Source as cited by Docuticker:

Annual Amtrak Ridership Sets All-Time Record; Sixth Straight Year of Increases
Source: National Railroad Passenger Corporation

While not mentioned in Barack Obama’s energy plans, taking public transportation such as Amtrak can be a useful component of reducing our dependence on foreign oil, especially if we can move to trains and buses powered by alternative energy such as electricity generated by renewables.

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