RICHMOND — Amtrak Virginia service set an all-time record for ridership in fiscal 2023, the Virginia Passenger Rail Authority (VPRA) announced Tuesday.
According to VPRA, 1.26 million passengers traveled on its Amtrak Virginia service during the state’s fiscal year 2023, which began on July 1, 2022 and concluded on June 30. The total — 1,256,123 — beat the previous record of 894,065 set during fiscal 2015.
The month of June also set a record for travel, VPRA said, with 111,212 passengers. The previous record for June was 85,533 passengers, set last year.
All four Amtrak Virginia corridors saw increases year-over-year from June 2022 to June 2023, it added, with overall ridership up 30% over last June. The Newport News service saw the greatest increase — 57.4% — from June 2022 to June 2023.
“These record-setting ridership numbers reflect the need for more investment in passenger rail in the Commonwealth,” said DJ Stadtler, Executive Director of VPRA. “With planned infrastructure improvements from Northern Virginia into Washington, DC, including a new bridge across the Potomac River, new investment will benefit not only Virginians but also, those traveling to and from our nation’s capital and along the east coast. It’s vital we continue to secure necessary funding for these projects to ensure rail is a viable transportation option in Virginia and beyond.”
VPRA’s Transforming Rail in Virginia (TRV) initiative invests in rail infrastructure to build high-performance passenger and commuter rail service in Virginia. According to VPRA, TRV projects will:
- Increase the state-supported Amtrak service between Washington, DC, and Richmond, resulting in near-hourly service along this corridor.
- Increase Amtrak service to Roanoke, Newport News, and Norfolk.
- Extend Amtrak service from Roanoke to the New River Valley (Christiansburg).
Currently, Amtrak Virginia service offers three daily roundtrips between Norfolk and Washington, DC, two daily between both Roanoke and Washington, and Newport News and Washington, and one daily roundtrip between Richmond and the nation’s capital.
The all-time record for monthly ridership was set in August 2022, when 119,280 passengers traveled.