Two pieces of New Hampshire transportation usage data came out over the weekend.
First, Amtrak’s Downeaster, the passenger trains that run between Boston and Brunswick, Maine, (not Bangor, as I initially said) with several stops in the Seacoast area, is doing quite well, perhaps better than any passenger line in the country. The Portland Press-Herald notes that the route set a new passenger record in 2019. Story is here.
(The Downeaster still faces the Boston problem, however – lack of a rail link between North Station, where it arrives, and South Station, where southbound and westbound trains leave. I doubt that this will ever be bridged. )
At the same time comes news that the passenger count at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport has fallen for the 14th year in a row. (U-L story here.)
Flight-shaming climate activists shouldn’t get too excited, however. Manchester airport still had 1.73 million passenger trips; the Downeaster had 574,000.
It’s not that people are flying less, it’s just that airlines are pushing them to use big airports. As I noted back in May (full story here), “In 2004, Boston’s Logan Airport carried about six times as many passengers as Manchester. Last year, it carried 21 times as many passengers as Manchester.”