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Amtrak stations mapped according to ridership

It’s common knowledge that the Northeast Corridor is Amtrak’s best line, but the northeast is not the only place in the US where a lot of people ride intercity trains. This map by Michael Hicks shows that California, the area around Chicago, and the Pacific Northwest also stand out as high ridership areas.

In the map, each circle represents one Amtrak station. The larger the circle, the more riders there are at that station.

Image by Michael Hicks on flickr.

Note: Map creator Mike Hicks updated the map to remove Amtrak bus connections, and add Canadian cities where Amtrak trains end. This post has been updated with the new map. He also supplies the first draft of a separate close-in map of the Northeast. – February 6, 2013

February 4th, 2013 | Permalink | {num}Comments
Tags: intercity, maps, transportation

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=531782335 Gustav Svu00e4rd

    Interesting map. There should be historical data on this, shouldn’t there? I’m thinking an animation showing this info, but far every year since Amtrak formed (the dream would be for all intercity passenger rail since the first line opened, but that is probably impossible)

  • Eric Wrigley

    Looks like Union Station in DC is #2 after NYC (Penn Station?).

  • http://www.al-chemical.com/ Alex Ruppel

    Would be great if you could get some info from VIA Rail and include the Maple Leaf to Toronto as well. It’s a bit unique, as it’s Amtrak metal the whole time, but the crew switches to VIA employees at the border.

  • Sisyphus

    This map reflects all that is foolish about Amtrak data.n”Ridership” is merely transaction volume. Are all “riders” equal in economic value? Is a purchaser of a $25 ticket to ride 100 miles in a short corridor equal to one rider who pays $1500 for a sleeping car tour of the west?nConsider that the long distance trains–represented on the map by all those tiny circles–produce half again the entire transportation output of the entire NEC. And the Empire Builder (Chicago-Seattle/Portland) by itself produced two-thirds of the passenger miles of the entire Acela operation in the NEC. Do the circles reflect actual output and productivity? And revenue?nConsider that Amtrak reported an “operating loss” for 2012 of just $361 million (that covers all train operations outside the NEC), while its NEC ownership and operations required subsidies of about $750 million. The “ridership” data conceals the financial results as well as the transportation produced.

  • Nathaniel Pendleton

    Impressive map. What tool was used to draw the circles?



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