Great news!  As NNEPRA's fiscal year comes to an end later this month, the Downeaster is already celebrating record-breaking ridership and revenue!

From Executive Director, Patricia Quinn:

  • FY 2011 YTD - 464,287 riders vs. 429,839 in FY '10 YTD
  • FY 2011 YRD - $6,474,808 in revenue vs. $6,054,496 in FY '10 YTD
  • May, 2011 - 42,543 riders vs 38,025 in May of '10, an 11% increase
  • May, 2011 - On Time Performance at 91%

The Public Comment time was moved to the top of the agenda in deference to three citizens from Brunswick. They were representing residents who oppose the proposed location of the Downeaster Maintenance Facility in the vicinity of their neighborhood.

Ms. Quinn summarized NNEPRA's position on the issue stating that a consulting group was being hired to evaluate the economic suitability and environmental impact of the proposed site. The consultants will apply the same analysis to several other possible locations in the area. An initial report will be offered at the next public forum in Brunswick on July 14th.

NNEPRA Vice-Chair Dana Connors assured the Brunswick representatives that the environmental issues they raised would be seriously considered as NNERPA makes its final decision. The group remains opposed to the location: "It's the wrong place for that facility."

Other items discussed:

  • Possibility of two cafe attendants to speed up service (likely a 'roamer' through the coaches)
  • WiFi upgrade underway
  • Saco Quik-Trak problems resolved by Amtrak - a software fix
  • 156 groups took the Downeaster this FY to date - up 27% over last FY - that translates into 12,637 riders
  • Amtrak Museum Train will be in Freeport Aug 13 & 14