The report is the first to use all metrics described in FRA’s November 2020 final rule for Metrics and Minimum Standards for Intercity Passenger Rail Service now codified in 49 CFR Part 273. The Metrics and Standards Rule establishes minimum standards for measuring the performance and service quality of intercity passenger train operations across four categories: on-time performance and train delays, customer service, financial performance, and public benefits.
“Customers deserve high quality, reliable passenger rail service without interference from freight trains that can cause substantial delay,” said FRA Administrator Amit Bose. “This report provides a meaningful tool for everyone — including customers, communities, and other stakeholders — to review comprehensive data on passenger rail performance.”
The first quarter FY 2022 report builds on the previous quarter’s report by including customer on-time performance for all train schedules and routes, as well as public benefits metrics. The Metrics and Standards Rule establishes a minimum standard for Amtrak intercity passenger rail on-time performance: at least 80% 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 largest single category of delays is those attributed to freight train interference, at 22% of total delay minutes.
The report also includes ridership data, which shows continued positive quarterly growth as travel demand recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Amtrak ridership grew by 48% from the third quarter of FY 2021 to the fourth quarter and increased again in the first quarter of FY 2022 by 7%, for a total of 5,530,225 riders. In addition, public benefits metrics, included for the first time in the FY 2022 first quarter report, show that in FY 2021 Amtrak served 67,835 riders in areas not well-served by other modes of intercity transportation, such as air or intercity buses.
FRA plans to develop additional reports and tools in the future to make viewing and analyzing data in the quarterly reports more accessible for stakeholders and the public.