Rising gas prices are fueling a surge in Amtrak ridership as more commuters are desperate to find ways of getting off the road. The number of Amtrak riders increased almost 14 percent this July as compared with a year earlier, The Wall Street Journal reported today.
Amtrak is on pace to serve 28 million passengers this year, which would top last year's record high of 25.8 million passengers served, the Journal reported.
But more passengers means more overcrowding on trains, and an aging infrastructure and fleet of train cars stand as impediments to increasing service. The federally-funded rail line will get a boost this October as both houses of Congress passed a 33 percent funding increase by veto-proof margins. But Amtrak officials urge that more needs to be done to maintain its aging infrastructure and to meet future demand.