NORFOLK, Va. — More than 110,000 people traveled on Amtrak train routes in Virginia in July, an all-time high and a sign that more people are using public transportation to travel.
The July 2022 ridership is a 28.9% increase from June 2022 and 19.8% increase from July 2019, before the pandemic, according to the Virginia Passenger Rail Authority (VPRA) and Amtrak.
The data comes after the VPRA launched two new roundtrips in July, one to Roanoke and one to Norfolk, and resumed an additional roundtrip to Newport News that was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The routes connect the Virginia cities with Washington, D.C.
“These numbers make it very clear – Virginians want more passenger rail to be a part of their transportation network,” VPRA Executive Director DJ Stadtler said in a news release.
With the launch of two new roundtrips and the resumption of another, we know that rail works for the Commonwealth and look forward to further expanding service throughout the state.”
The Newport News route saw the biggest increase in July with 29,271 passengers, a 54% increase from the 18,956 passengers in June.
That route has stops in Alexandria, Woodbridge, Quantico, Fredericksburg, Ashland, Richmond Staples Mill Station, Richmond Main Street Station and Williamsburg.
The Norfolk route -- with stops in Alexandria, Woodbridge, Quantico, Fredericksburg, Ashland, Richmond Staples Mill Station and Petersburg -- saw the second biggest increase with 40,763 people traveling in July, a 23% increase from the 33,094 people in June.
This was also a 36.5% increase from the 29,864 people that rode in July 2019, according to the VPRA and Amtrak.
The Roanoke route -- which stops in Alexandria, Burke Centre, Manassas, Culpeper, Charlottesville and Lynchburg -- saw a 72.1% increase in July compared to July 2021 with 27,374 people traveling.
This route also beat its pre-pandemic ridership with a 31.4% increase in July 2022 over July 2019.
The Richmond route saw a ridership of 12,848 people in July, an 8% increase over June and a 26.3% increase over July 2019. This route stops in Alexandria, Woodbridge, Quantico, Fredericksburg, Ashland, Richmond Staples Mill Station and Richmond Main Street Station.