I guess more people are recognizing the 5 benefits of riding the train, because Amtrak ridership is up from 21.6 million passengers in 2002 to 27.2 million passengers in the fiscal year of 2009, according to Amtrak chairman Thomas Carper. Amtrak hopes to continue this growth, releasing new Strategic Guidance and FY 2010-2014 five-year financial plan last week.
"We must think big, be innovative and pursue opportunities and decisions that make good business sense because the competition is real," said Amtrak President and CEO Joseph H. Boardman in a statement.
With the mission of "getting there the safer, greener, healthier way," the Strategic Guidance plan encompasses six broad goals:
• Safer: Operate the safest possible passenger railroad.
• Greener: Increase efficiency, reduce emissions, and make better use of resources.
• Healthier: Improve the condition, durability and wholesomeness of every aspect of the company.
• Improve financial performance: Improve the bottom line.
• Improve customer service: Improve the quality and attractiveness of the service for passengers.
• Meet national needs: Help with disaster relief and mobilization efforts, and help advance national policies and plans.
"Amtrak is moving into the future with clear goals and specific initiatives to secure and expand our leadership position in the increasingly competitive passenger rail industry," said Thomas Carper, chairman of the Amtrak board of directors.