Amtrak said Friday it delivered its best operating performance in company history this past fiscal year, setting records for ridership, revenue and financial performance on its path to achieving operational breakeven in fiscal year 2020.
During fiscal year 2019 (October 2018 – September 2019), total operating revenue increased to $3.3 billion; 3.6 percent over fiscal year 2018. Amtrak also said it experienced the best operating performance in its history — earning $29.8 million, which is an improvement by $140.9 million, or 82.6 percent, over fiscal year 2018’s $170.6 million.
In fiscal year 2019, Amtrak implemented a Safety Management System and expanded Positive Train Control (PTC) operations resulting in improvements in a broad range of safety metrics, including a 26 percent reduction in customer incidents; 72 percent fewer serious employee injuries; a 10 percent reduction in Federal Railroad Administration reportable injuries; and a 3 percent reduction in trespasser and grade crossing incidents.
Ridership set a company record, providing 32.5 million customer trips, a year-over-year increase of 800,000 passengers.
Another driver of this year’s success was a record $1.6 billion investment on capital assets, which featured refreshed equipment, including the entire Acela fleet and Amfleet II cars for Coach class along the East Coast; technology upgrades, like improvements to the Amtrak mobile app and offering assigned seating; state-of-good-repair work on the Northeast Corridor to improve overall reliability and performance; station upgrades and enhanced lounges; and other customer-friendly benefits that support the long-term growth of intercity passenger rail.
Additionally, PTC installation was completed on nearly all Amtrak-owned and controlled track.
Amtrak said customers noticed the improvements, with nearly 9 out of 10 surveyed expressing overall satisfaction with their experience.
This year, Amtrak received a credit upgrade to A from S&P and an affirmation of an A1 credit rating by Moody’s, reflecting significantly reduced operating losses and a stronger balance sheet, with no net debt.
Fiscal year 2019 is also the first full year in which all congressionally-mandated state and commuter partner cost-sharing agreements have been in effect.
“We are growing and modernizing Amtrak. We have an industry-leading safety program and have invested billions in improving the customer experience, resulting in more people choosing Amtrak as their preferred mode of transportation,” said Amtrak Board Chair Tony Coscia.
“This is a story about where we were and where we are going. … Safety is our priority,” Coscia said. “Customer service is what we are about. We are in the business of mobility. Our ability is to serve customers with safe clean trains. We grow revenue by adding customers. … We invested $1.6 billion in our railroad in 2019.”