Amtrak is on course to break its annual ridership record this year. By the halfway point (their fiscal year starts in October), 13.6 million passengers have traveled on the rail system.
Ridership for March 2010 was up 13.5 percent from March 2009 on its popular Acela line and five short-haul routes had double digit increases in the past six months too. All this bodes well for the rail system's request to Congress for a $446 million budget increase that would go towards upgrading to more fuel-efficient trains, possibly including GE's diesel-electric rail cars.
If this trend continues and more passengers choose rail travel over air travel, the environment stands to benefit greatly. The Guardian has reported that train travel reduces greenhouse gas emission by a factor of five to 10 compared to air travel on domestic trips. And if Amtrak upgrades to more efficient trains, the emissions savings could grow even more.
written by Alana, April 17, 2010
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