If Amtrak were a airline they would be at Par with Jet Blue at #8 in Passenger count with 31,000,000 pasengers per year.

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If Amtrak were a airline they would be at Par with Jet Blue at #8 in Passenger count with 31,000,000 pasengers per year.
Posted by CandOforprogress2 on Friday, November 24, 2017 6:27 PM
RankAirlineCountry2016201520142013FleetDestinationsDaily Departures1Source
1 American Airlines United States 198,714,575 201,249,127 197,340,801 193,739,825 946 339 6,500 [1]
2 Delta Air Lines United States 183,741,787 179,382,874 171,350,030 164,659,644 852 322 5,400 [2]
3 Southwest Airlines United States 151,740,357 144,574,882 135,767,188 133,155,030 691 102 3,800 [3]
4 United Airlines United States 143,177,000 140,369,000 138,029,000 139,209,000 750 342 4,626 [4]
5 Air Canada Canada 44,849,000 41,126,000 38,526,000 35,761,000 169 182 1,500 [5]
6 Alaska Airlines United States 41,945,000 31,883,000 29,278,000 27,414,000 148 118 1,187 [6]
7 JetBlue Airways United States 38,263,104 35,100,986 32,078,316 30,463,226 238 97 900 [7]
8 WestJet Canada 22,000,000 20,281,376 19,651,977 18,485,144 121 91 420 Music
9 Aeroméxico Mexico 19,703,000 18,769,000 17,190,000 15,488,000 72 84 600 [9]
10 Spirit Airlines United States 21,618,039 17,921,419 14,293,703 12,413,812 107 57 250 [10]
11 Volaris Mexico 15,005,000 11,983,000 9,809,000 8,900,000 66 57 n/a [11]
12 Frontier Airlines United States 14,800,000 12,600,000 11,300,000 10,700,000 71 59 270 [12]
13 Hawaiian Airlines United States 11,050,911 10,672,667 10,195,145 9,935,743 52 28 212 [13]
14 Allegiant Air United States 11,003,864 9,355,097 8,017,442 7,103,366 89 109 n/a [14]
15 Virgin America United States 8,073,000 7,036,000 6,508,000 6,329,000 65 24 210 [15]
16 Interjet Mexico n/a n/a n/a n/a 77 47 n/a [16]
17 Sun Country United States 1,800,000 1,850,000 n/a n/a 22 38 n/a [17]
18 Air Transat Canada n/a n/a n/a n/a 34 82 n/a [18]
19 Vivaaerobus Mexico 6,370,000 4,760,000 4,000,000 3,800,000 23 25 n/a [19]
20 Sunwing Airlines Canada n/a n/a n/a n/a 25 n/a n/a [20]

 

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Posted by JPS1 on Monday, November 27, 2017 12:51 PM
According to U.S. DOT’s Passenger Travel 2016 Statistics, in 2015 U.S. commercial airlines - those headquartered in the United States - boarded 798.4 million passengers.  United, Delta, and American grabbed 43.8 percent of the total.
 
Amtrak’s 31 million passengers were 3.9 percent of the passenger volumes generated by the country’s domestic airlines.
 
A more meaningful statistic would be the percentage of passengers traveling by Amtrak, as opposed to alternative modes, where passenger trains make sense, which is relatively short, high density corridors that connect major metropolitan areas.
 

Passenger statistics can be deceptive.  If a person takes one Amtrak trip a year, he is a passenger once.  If he takes five trips a year, he is counted as five passengers, but he is one person using the train five times.  The same concept applies to airline, bus, cruise ship, etc. passengers. 

Rio Grande Valley, CFI,CFII

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Posted by MidlandMike on Monday, November 27, 2017 9:29 PM

You also have to look at passenger-miles.  A lot of Amtrak passengers travel on the NEC, and most of them are not end-to-end.  Trips on the big airlines are much longer.

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Monday, November 27, 2017 9:53 PM

Why not compare number of passengeers divided by number of seats available ?.  No one that we have heard from has predicted how many passengers would have traveled if seats were available. That applies to both air and trains.

If a lot more equipment was available to Amtrak then it could run more non-stop services.  Example   NYP <> PHL less number PHL <> WASH.

 

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Tuesday, November 28, 2017 9:35 AM

blue streak 1

Why not compare number of passengeers divided by number of seats available ?.  No one that we have heard from has predicted how many passengers would have traveled if seats were available. That applies to both air and trains.

If a lot more equipment was available to Amtrak then it could run more non-stop services.  Example   NYP <> PHL less number PHL <> WASH.

 

 

So what are the load factors for Amtrak (NEC, state-sponsored service and long distance) and the top five airlines?  Trying to estimate how many passengrs were lost b/c of insufficient seats is not an exact science.

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Posted by JPS1 on Tuesday, November 28, 2017 1:18 PM
In 2016 the average load factor for the NEC was 55.4 percent.  It was 61.2 percent for the Acela trains and 52.8 percent for the Northeast Regional trains. The average load factor for the State Supported and Other Short Distance Corridor trains was 42.4 percent, while the average for the long distance trains was 57 percent.
 
According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the average passenger load factor for the nation’s domestic airlines in 2016 was 84.6 percent.

Although Amtrak is space constrained during certain peak travel periods, the average numbers don’t suggest that lack of capacity is a major problem. 

Amtrak does not have the money to invest in equipment that could sit idle more than 75 percent of the time.  And Amtrak does not have the money, in part at least, because the U.S. is in hawk to the tune of more than $20 trillion.

Trying to determine how many people would travel if Amtrak had more space would require complex statistical algorithms and some hefty computer power.  Moreover, it is not just availability of seats; price plays a major role for many if not most travelers.

Rio Grande Valley, CFI,CFII

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Posted by runnerdude48 on Tuesday, November 28, 2017 4:30 PM

For shorter trips with more than one person, the least expensive and most convenient mode of transportation is the automobile.  My wife and I travelled from our home in central Maine to my sister's home in central Connecticut, roundtrip, for less than $50 in gas and tolls.  Forget the cost of owning a car because we already have the car and the increased cost of maintenance is minimal.  This does not even consider that we can take our luggage and Christmas gifts and put them in the trunk and not touch them again until we arrive.

Now, if we were to have taken Amtrak it gets really complicated (and long).  We would load all our stuff into the car and drive to Portland and hope we could find a parking space at the station.  Then we would lug our stuff on board the Downeaster and take that to Boston North Station where we would then haul all our stuff by cab (or subway if we felt adventurous, and cheap) to South Station where we would lug our stuff onto a NE Regional train to New Haven where we would get off, carrying our gifts and luggage, and take a shuttle train (or most likely a bus substitute these days) to Berlin, CT where we would once again haul all our stuff off the train and wait for someone to come and pick us up.  Then of course we would not have a vehicle to get us to the places we wanted to be during our 5 day stay.  Of course, we would have the reverse of all these hassles, just with different gifts, for the trip home.  The trip by automobile takes 4 1/2 hours without delays (of which we had none).  The trip by train: 1 hour to Portland, 2 1/2 hours to Boston, 2 1/2 hours to New Haven, and about an hour to Berlin.  That totals around 7 hours of travel time plus the subway (or cab ride) between stations in Boston and waits in Portland, Boston and New Haven.  So the total trip time would be about 10 hours each way.  The cost? I don't know but probably about $100 for each of us.

With all that being said, all the seats in the world wouldn't tempt me to take the train.  In fact I could have an entire car to myself and I would still drive.  I could have saved about an hour of time and some of the hassle by taking the bus directly to South Station from Portland but that still doesn't sway me to take public transportation and the Lake Shore Limited to Springfield and the shuttle from there to Berlin doesn't save any time or inconvenience although I think it may be a bit cheaper.  Besides, there is only one train a day.  No options.

Overall I don't think you can say that if Amtrak had more cars available it would carry more passengers because people choose their mode depending on which is the cheapest, most convenient and fastest way of getting to their destinations.  Except for most railfans who will choose the train no matter what and don't understand why everyone else doesn't do the same.  I wish them luck.

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Posted by JPS1 on Tuesday, November 28, 2017 5:45 PM

Runnerdude48:

The minimum fare for a round trip for two adults from Portland, Maine to Berlin, Connecticut over the Christmas holidays would be $498 as of today.  The price can change hourly.  This is the coach value fare.  Business class would be approximately $684.
 
Time on the trains would be 2h 30 minutes from Portland to Boston; 2h 28 minutes Boston to New Haven; 34 minutes New Haven to Berlin.  The best schedule, according to Amtrak, although there may be others, is a 5:20 am departure from Portland with a 1:59 pm arrival in Berlin. 
 
The trip back to Portland leaves Berlin at 10:44 am and arrives in Portland at 7:25 pm. The running times are pretty close to the times from Portland to Berlin.  As you point out, you need to organize the transfers between North and South Stations Boston.
 
I can’t help you with wheels while away from home.  But I can help you with the stuff.  Do what my brother and I do.  I buy his family LLBean Gift Certificates, and he buys me Amazon Gift Certificates.  No need to lug them onto and off the train.  You can mail them or better yet have them mailed.

Happy Holidays! Smile

Rio Grande Valley, CFI,CFII

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Posted by MidlandMike on Tuesday, November 28, 2017 8:12 PM

JPS1
In 2016 the average load factor for the NEC was 55.4 percent.  It was 61.2 percent for the Acela trains and 52.8 percent for the Northeast Regional trains. The average load factor for the State Supported and Other Short Distance Corridor trains was 42.4 percent, while the average for the long distance trains was 57 percent.
 
According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the average passenger load factor for the nation’s domestic airlines in 2016 was 84.6 percent.

...

 

I took th NEC between DC and NY.  Leaving DC, I had the seat to myself and maybe the car was approx at the 50% load factor, but by the time we left Philly, the train was packed, virtually 100% loaded.  So the capacity of the entire trip was constrained by the segment with full load.

While some flights make intermediate stop(s), generally the plane is non-stop, and is sized for its anticipated load.  Thus it is possible for airlines to more closely match the load.

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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, November 29, 2017 1:55 PM

Going back a few years, the company travel agent booked a trip for me from Baltimore to Norfolk.  Departed BWI in a Delta DC-8 to Washington National where I connected to a commuter airline's Shortts 330 to Norfolk.  I was one of 2 passengers on the BWI to National leg - don't know that flights ultimate destination was, but it wasn't National.  This all happened the morning Air Florida's flight flew into the 13st Street bridge attempting to take off from National in the afternoon during a snow storm without adequate deicing.  January 13, 1982.

         

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, November 29, 2017 2:58 PM

Coming from or going to Portland, ME, Back Bay Station is a better bet than South Station, dspite not having first choice of seats on the NEC train.  Running time on the MBTA Orange rapid transit line is less than ten minutes between North Station and Back Bay, and trains run every ten minutes or less during most of the day.  And it is a direct ride.  Going from North to South station either inviolves a taxi and thus traffic or two rapid transit lines.  There may be, once was, a slow bus.

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Wednesday, November 29, 2017 5:45 PM

Balt didn't you mean a DC-9 ?  DC-8s have never been allowed at Washington National.

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Posted by runnerdude48 on Wednesday, November 29, 2017 9:11 PM

daveklepper
Coming from or going to Portland, ME, Back Bay Station is a better bet than South Station, dspite not having first choice of seats on the NEC train.  Running time on the MBTA Orange rapid transit line is less than ten minutes between North Station and Back Bay, and trains run every ten minutes or less during most of the day.  And it is a direct ride.  Going from North to South station either inviolves a taxi and thus traffic or two rapid transit lines.  There may be, once was, a slow bus.

Problem is that Back Bay Station is now essentially closed.  No more ticketing and few services.  South Station, although perpetually over crowded and cold in winter with track gate doors opening directly into the concourse, has far better services including a Club Acela of which I make frequent use.  But you're right Dave, the tradeoff is the need to take the Orange Line to Downtown Crossing or the Green Line to Park Street and then change to the Red Line to South Station.  With little or no luggage, and ample time, you can walk between the two.  Although don't ask me for directions to use the shortest route.  It's one of those routes that you find and perfect through trial and error.  The long way using the greenway is more scenic but longer.  Anyway I prefer to depart from South Station for its amentities and the fact that you get first choice of seats.

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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, November 29, 2017 9:37 PM

blue streak 1
Balt didn't you mean a DC-9 ?  DC-8s have never been allowed at Washington National.

It could have been a 9 - all I remember that it was a awful lot of plane for a severely limited passenger load.

         

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Posted by CandOforprogress2 on Thursday, November 30, 2017 11:46 AM
  • Greyhound Bus Stats-
  • 3,800 destinations offering 50,000 city pair journey combinations across our unique nationwide network
  • First international coach operator to launch domestic service in Mexico
  • 7,000 employees
  • 18 million passengers a year
  • 5.4 billion passenger miles a year
  • 1,700 vehicles in our fleet
 

* All fact and figures are as of April 2016

Greyhound which used to carry 20 Million Passengers a year is now down to 18,000,000 due in part to horrible customer service.

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Thursday, November 30, 2017 1:49 PM

BaltACD
 
blue streak 1
Balt didn't you mean a DC-9 ?  DC-8s have never been allowed at Washington National.
 

 
Sorry did not clarify.  If coach was 3 & 2 was a DC-9 or MD-80 ( DC-9 streached ) .  If 6 across a B-737.
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Posted by BaltACD on Friday, December 01, 2017 1:21 PM

blue streak 1
 
BaltACD 
blue streak 1
Balt didn't you mean a DC-9 ?  DC-8s have never been allowed at Washington National.
Sorry did not clarify.  If coach was 3 & 2 was a DC-9 or MD-80 ( DC-9 streached ) .  If 6 across a B-737.

I am fully aware of the differences between DC9's, MD80's and 737's from the 100 series through the 800 series, having flown them all.  It having been at 0 dark 30, on a miserable weather morning I don't fully recall which of the full size aircraft was being used on the short hop from BWI to National - it took more time in the boarding time and deboarding time than it probably took for time in the air.

         

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