The Amtrak Downeaster has broken its ridership record for the seventh consecutive year. The Boston-to-Portland train saw 528,292 riders in fiscal year 2012, which ended in June, the highest in its 10-year history.
According to the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority, which manages the service, FY2012 ridership exceeded FY2011 ridership by 4%, and FY2005 ridership by 111%. FY2012 ticket revenues of $7.4 million also set a record, exceeding FY2011 revenues by 4.5% and FY2005 revenues by 125%.
Since it began operating in December 2001, the Downeaster has transported approximately 4 million riders and generated more than $56 million in ticket revenues. The train makes five round-trips daily between Portland and Boston, and will expand to service Freeport and Brunswick later this year.
A congressional bill recently preserved a nearly $6 million federal subsidy to operate the train.