By TIM BLACKWELL/Cowcatcher Magazine
America is returning to the rails in earnest. U.S. passenger rail ridership is making a significant recovery from covid-19, which put the brakes on public transit and Amtrak in spring 2020.
Boardings on national, regional and local networks from coast to coast are closing in on pre-pandemic levels, despite gaps in service and equipment, according to the latest available data.
Public rail ridership through September had returned to 60 percent of pre-covid boardings, according to the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), and Amtrak trips were up 52 percent through 10 months of its fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30.