NEW YORK -- Amtrak ridership increased in the first six months of fiscal year 2013, with ridership in March setting a record as the single best month ever in Amtrak's history, the railroad said Tuesday.
Ridership grew 0.9 percent from October 2012 to March compared to the prior year despite disruptions from weather including Superstorm Sandy. Amtrak said 26 of 45 routes had rider increases.
The railroad said October, December and January also set individual monthly records. Amtrak expects to end the fiscal year at or above last year's record of 31.2 million passengers.
"The continued ridership growth on routes across the country reinforces the need for dedicated, multi-year federal operating and capital funding to support existing intercity passenger rail services and the development of new ones," Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman said.
Routes with ridership growth in the October-to-March period included the New York City to Georgia route, the Palmetto, up 10.5 percent, and the Coast Starlight, which operates between Los Angeles and Seattle, up 10 percent.
Amtrak said ridership was up 9.8 percent on the Illini/Saluki, which operates between Chicago and New Orleans; 8.9 percent on the San Joaquin in California, 8.6 percent on the Piedmont in North Carolina and 8.2 percent on the Wolverine route in Michigan.