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Monday, February 13, 2012 - 11:00am

Amtrak Posts Georgia Ridership Record

Updated: 2 years ago.
Savannah's Amtrak station ridership increased 5% in 2011. (photo by Matt Johnson)

Amtrak officials say, more Georgians got on and off their trains last year than any year before.

Amtrak's Georgia ridership broke 200,000 passengers for the first in 2011.

Georgia Association for Railroad Passengers President Steve Vogel says, all five Georgia stations are posting increases.

"We're seeing them at every stop," Vogel says. "Jesup, for instance, down near Savannah had a 13% increase, which was rather significant. The two trains that run through Atlanta, pretty much running at capacity, still managed to squeeze out a 2% increase."

This comes as Amtrak expects major cuts in federal funding.

Vogel says, the cuts don't match the demand.

"It is sort of ironic. People obviously want to ride trains or the ridership wouldn't continue to increase," Vogel says. "But it's something that apparently is very visible by itself and makes a convenient target for budget cutters."

Agency officials have asked for a 3% budget cut this year, anticipating much more.

House Republicans propose slashing Amtrak's funding by 25%.

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