What is the Report?

The U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics has recently published Passenger Travel Facts and Figures, described as "...a snapshot of the characteristics and trends of personal travel in the United States; the network over which passenger travel takes place; and the related economic, safety, and environmental aspects of passenger travel." An electronic version of this publication is available at https://www.bts.gov/

Chapter 1 summarizes the basic demographic and economic characteristics of the United States that contribute to the demand for passenger travel.

Chapter 2 examines travel patterns by household characteristics, trip purpose, and transportation mode.

Chapter 3 provides information on the passenger transportation system and its performance.

Chapter 4 discusses the economic characteristics of passenger travel and tourism.

Chapter 5 describes the safety, energy, and environmental impacts of passenger travel.

 

Passenger Rail Statistics

Amtrak On-Time Performance

Among the data in Chapter 3 of the report is a graph of Amtrak's annual On-time Performance (OTP) between FY2000 and FY2015. According to the report, in fiscal year (FY) 2015, Amtrak achieved 71.2 percent on-time performance, down 1.2 percentage points from the previous year.

 

Although OTP varies considerably according to  route and distance traveled,  this graph summarizes OTP across all Amtrak routes and all trains during the years shown.

 

 

 


 NOTES: On-time performance is a percentage measure of train performance. A train is considered on-time if it arrives at the final destination, or end-point, within an allowed number of minutes, or tolerance, of its scheduled arrival time. Trains are allowed a certain
tolerance at the end-point based on the number of miles traveled:
Trip length:
0-250 miles
251-350 miles
351-450 miles
451-550 miles
>551 miles
Train must arrive at endpoint within:
10 minutes
15 minutes
20 minutes
25 minutes
30 minutes
SOURCE: Amtrak, as cited in U.S. Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, National Transportation Statistics,
table 1-73, available at www.bts.gov as of February 2016.


Responsible Party for Amtrak Delays

Delays were more likely to occur on track owned by another (host) railroad than on track owned by Amtrak. In FY2014 host railroads were responsible for 63.1 percent of delayed time, and Amtrak was responsible for 24.0 percent, as shown in the figure on the right.


NOTES: Amtrak-responsible delays include all delays that occur when operating on Amtrak-owned tracks and all delays for mechanical failure, passenger handling, holding for connections, train servicing, and mail/baggage handling when on tracks of a host railroad. Host railroad delays include operating delays not attributable to Amtrak when operating on tracks of a host railroad, such as track and signal related delays, power failures, freight and commuter train interference, routing delays, etc. Third-party delays are not attributable to Amtrak or other host railroads, such as customs and immigration, law enforcement action, weather, or waiting for scheduled departure time.

SOURCE: Amtrak, personal communication, as cited in U.S. Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, National Transportation
Statistics, table 1-73, available at www.bts.gov as of February 2016.