Federal Railroad Administration Publishes Quarterly Report on the Performance and Service Quality of Amtrak Intercity Passenger Rail Operations
First quarterly report to include customer on-time performance for all Amtrak trains
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) today published a report on performance metrics for Amtrak’s intercity passenger train operations, covering the first quarter of Fiscal Year (FY) 2022. This report is the first to use all metrics described in FRA’s November 2020 final rule for Metrics and Minimum Standards for Intercity Passenger Rail Service now codified in 49 CFR Part 273. The Metrics and Standards Rule establishes minimum standards for measuring the performance and service quality of intercity passenger train operations across four categories: on-time performance and train delays, customer service, financial performance, and public benefits.
“Customers deserve high quality, reliable passenger rail service without interference from freight trains that can cause substantial delay,” said FRA Administrator Amit Bose. “This report provides a meaningful tool for everyone – including customers, communities, and other stakeholders – to review comprehensive data on passenger rail performance.”
The first quarter FY 2022 report builds on the previous quarter’s report by including customer on-time performance for all train schedules and routes, as well as public benefits metrics. The Metrics and Standards Rule establishes a minimum standard for Amtrak intercity passenger rail on-time performance: at least 80% of a train’s customers must arrive on time (defined as no later than 15 minutes after the scheduled arrival time) for any two consecutive calendar quarters. The largest single category of delays is those attributed to freight train interference, at 22 percent of total delay minutes.
The report also includes ridership data, which shows continued positive quarterly growth as travel demand recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Amtrak ridership grew by 48 percent from the third quarter of FY 2021 to the fourth quarter and increased again in the first quarter of FY 2022 by seven percent, for a total of 5,530,225 riders. In addition, public benefits metrics, included for the first time in the FY 2022 first quarter report, show that in FY 2021 Amtrak served 67,835 riders in areas not well-served by other modes of intercity transportation, such as air or intercity buses.
President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is helping the FRA strengthen its support for passenger rail projects across the country by increasing the funding for FRA’s discretionary grant programs. This year, FRA will release Notices of Funding Opportunity for the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements Program and the Federal-State Partnership for Intercity Passenger Rail Grant Program. These programs make funding available for capital projects, among other activities, that improve intercity passenger rail service.
Other upcoming opportunities made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law include the new Corridor Identification and Development Program, which will identify new and enhanced intercity passenger rail corridors and develop them with comprehensive planning and development efforts, and the Interstate Rail Compacts Program, which will provide financial assistance to entities implementing interstate rail compacts. Furthermore, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides $22 billion to Amtrak to eliminate the maintenance backlog, acquire equipment, and pursue other activities.
FRA plans to develop additional reports and tools in the future to make viewing and analyzing data in the quarterly reports more accessible for stakeholders and the public.
The FY 2022 Q1 report and data files are available here.