NEWS RELEASE – April 23, 2024

Double-digit increases seen on all four corridors

RICHMOND — The Virginia Passenger Rail Authority (VPRA) marked another record increase in ridership last month. During March, 123,658 passengers traveled on the state-supported Amtrak Virginia service. This was an increase of 21% over March 2023, which saw 102,087 passengers and was the highest ridership for the month of March since Virginia’s state-supported service began in 2009.

All four Amtrak Virginia corridors saw double-digit increases year-over-year with Richmond seeing the greatest increase of 32.5%. The Norfolk corridor carried the most passengers, 45,185.

March 2024 vs March 2023 Comparison

Route March 2024 March 2023 % Increase
Route 46 Roanoke 31,048 27,444 +13.1%
Route 47 Newport News 33,973 28,011 +21.3%
Route 50 Norfolk 45,185 36,482 +23.9%
Route 51 Richmond 13,452 10,150 +32.5%
Total 123,658 102,087 +21.1%

NOTE:  March 2024 had five weekends while March 2023 only had four.

“As our ridership continues to set records, Virginia is fast becoming an example of how state-supported passenger rail service can be a formidable part of a state’s transportation mix,” said DJ Stadtler, Executive Director of VPRA.  “We recognize that many people rely on their cars, however, by offering reliable rail service that goes where travelers want to go, we can take some of those cars off the road.  That’s a win-win for a state famous for its traffic.”

With the school spring break season leading up to Easter, spring travel began early this year.  Five weekends in the month of March also contributed to the record ridership.

Currently, Amtrak Virginia offers three daily roundtrips between Norfolk and Washington, DC, two daily roundtrips between both Roanoke and Washington, and Newport News and Washington, and one daily roundtrip between Richmond and the nation’s capital.  Plans to expand the service are underway through VPRA’s Transforming Rail in Virginia (TRV) initiative.  This innovative and forward-looking plan will give Virginians an alternative to traveling along congested highways and interstates. The initiative calls for increasing passenger rail service in the Commonwealth by purchasing railroad right-of-way and building infrastructure.

With the completion of TRV’s Phase 1 projects, two new Amtrak Virginia roundtrips are scheduled to launch in 2026.  The completion of TRV’s Phase 2 projects – which include a new bridge across the Potomac River — will result in three new roundtrips for a total of 13 daily roundtrips by 2030.

About Virginia Passenger Rail Authority

The Virginia Passenger Rail Authority was established in 2020 to promote, sustain, and expand the availability of passenger and commuter rail service in the Commonwealth. VPRA is committed to delivering and expanding its state-supported Amtrak Virginia passenger rail service.  The Commonwealth of Virginia first launched state-supported service in 2009 with one roundtrip between Washington, DC and Lynchburg, VA.  Since that time, the Commonwealth’s service has grown to include eight roundtrips daily with stops at 17 stations along four corridors.  For more information, please visit Follow us on social media: Facebook @VAPassengerRail, X @vapassengerrail, LinkedIn virginia-passenger-rail-authority, and YouTube @virginiapassengerrailauthority.