Acela competes with Air Travel in the Northeast: Gains in Reliability, Frequency

371487850_3908ba93fb.jpgToday's article in the Wall Street Journal was picked up by New York City's Streetsblog, a website devoted to the "New York City Streets Renaissance." The WSJ article highlights impressive gains in performance and ridership by Amtrak's Acela service in the Northeast Corridor, especially when compared to flight delays at New York's La Guardia Airport:

While airlines are running later and with more delays than ever -- a third of flights arrived late at La Guardia Airport between June 1 and Aug. 15, according to Flightstats.com -- Acela's performance is improving. The train is running on time 88% of the time, so far this year -- up from 84% a year ago. It was 90% on time in June. With Amtrak selling every seat on some Acela trains in peak travel periods, Amtrak recently added another weekday Acela round trip between New York and Washington to keep up with growing demand. The new train dropped all but one stop, Philadelphia, shaving 15 minutes off the normal 2¾-hour, five-stop New York-Washington trip.
Sadly, not everyone in the New York region appreciates the advantage of modal redundancy in the transportation system and alternatives to the Northeast's crowded airspace:

A spokeswoman for JetBlue Airways Corp., Forest Hills, N.Y., says it's wrong for tax dollars to be used to subsidize Amtrak passenger trains "when a modernized air-traffic-control system is not yet in place or even funded."

Photo: flickr.com/pgengler