FRA publish report on performance and service quality of Amtrak

The quarterly report uses metrics defined by the FRA to measure performance over multiple categories including customer service and financial performance.

Amtrak FRA

FRA Amtrak

The US Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has published a report and supporting data files that measure the performance and service quality of Amtrak intercity passenger train operations during the fourth quarter of FY 2021.

This report uses metrics defined in FRA’s November 2020 final rule for Metrics and Minimum Standards for Intercity Passenger Rail Service (Metrics and Standards Rule), which establishes performance measurement and service quality metrics across four categories, on-time performance and train delays, customer service, financial performance, and public benefits. Most Amtrak routes operate over track owned by other railroads, who have a role in sustaining Amtrak’s performance and who can be held responsible for causing delays if Amtrak’s on-time service falls below established thresholds.

The Metrics and Standards rule establishes a minimum standard for Amtrak intercity passenger rail on-time performance. At least 80 per cent 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 rule also requires Amtrak and its host railroads to jointly certify that each Amtrak train schedule aligns with the on-time performance metric and minimum standard. 

“This data provides in-depth, comprehensive information on passenger rail performance that can be used by a wide array of stakeholders, from the individual customer to transportation policymakers,” Amit Bose, FRA Administrator, said. “As the country returns to travel, customers deserve to have access to high quality, reliable passenger rail service. Amtrak and the host railroads have made remarkable progress in reviewing and, in some cases, updating train schedules, which are critical steps to improving passenger rail service.”

The report includes ridership data, which shows positive quarterly growth as travel demand recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, Amtrak ridership grew by 48 per cent from the third quarter of FY 2021 to the fourth quarter for a total of 5,164,708 passengers in the fourth quarter.  

Furthermore, FRA is preparing to implement $66 billion in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funds, including $22 billion to Amtrak to eliminate the maintenance backlog and modernise the Northeast Corridor. These improvements will allow Amtrak to expand its service while ensuring that current operations run more smoothly and efficiently.