News Brief

NNEPRA reports May ridership missed FY2017 target by 5%, due to loss of approximately 2,500 riders because of weekend curtailments and heat restrictions. May ridership was only 261 passengers below May of last year. FY2017 YTD ridership is 9% ahead of target. When the June numbers come in, FY2017 promises to be a very successful year. 

fy2014fqAnother fiscal year begins and Patricia Quinn, Executive Director of NNEPRA, reported ridership during the 1st quarter of Fiscal Year 2014. The report states that "the Downeaster transported a record-setting 163,614 passengers generating $2.48 million in revenue."

"An all-time monthly ridership of 60,044 passengers was matched by all-time monthly revenue of $929,299 in August. A service interruption associated with the rehab of the Shawsheen River Bridges is estimated to have displaced approximately 1,000 riders in September" (dates when the Downeaster could not service Boston).

 

Ms. Quinn's report continues: "Customer satisfaction was 93% for the Downester as compared to 86% for Amtrak overall, however, on time performance struggled at 61% throughout the quarter. The completion of track construction projects combined with schedule modifications in October are expected to have a positive impact on OTP."

Good news, thanks in large part to the Red Sox, was reported for October of this year: Ridership peaked at 45,681 as compared to 37,802 in October of 2012 - a 7,879 increase! Let's start rooting for the Red Sox 2014 season now!

* The Brunswick West Neighborhood Coaliton asked that NNEPRA's comments to the FRA on their oppostion statements be made public. The board said they would check with counsel and respond soon.

* NNEPRA met with the Bicycle Coalition of Maine to discuss how to become more 'bicycle friendly.' More talks on this issue will be held.

* The board discussed several private initiatives requesting NNEPRA involvement. They include:

  • A Montreal-Portland-Boston hotel train
  • Several commuting/feeder proposals from Lewiston-Auburn to Portland
  • TrainRiders/NE's letter proposing a Downeaster route to New York City

The board decided to devote a workshop in December for the purpose of determining whether or not NNEPRA should involve itself in these issues and if so, how best to evaluate and prioritize the proposals.

Several stories have appeared in the Maine press about these possibilities: