The Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority (NNEPRA) is a public transportation authority created in 1995 by the Maine State Legislature to develop and provide passenger rail service between Maine and Boston and points within Maine.
Our Mission is to develop and manage a quality passenger rail system that meets the transportation needs of our customers, delivers value, and enhances economic development within the region we serve.
NNEPRA facilitates the coordination between many operating partners to deliver a quality and seamless transportation service that meets the needs of the traveling public.
Under contract to NNEPRA, Amtrak provides equipment and crews to operate the Downeaster rail service. NNEPRA staff works closely with Amtrak to develop revenue-management strategies, schedules, capital projects, and service improvement programs. We also maintain a strong working relationship with host railroads Pan Am Railways and the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) to ensure that freight, commuter, and Downeaster trains operate efficiently and that the corridor remains in good repair.
On Board Services
NNEPRA contracts with Epicurean Feast to operate the Downeaster Café. Together, we develop menus, pricing, and service elements that enhance the quality of service while showcasing and promoting Maine products and businesses.
NNEPRA collaborates regularly with community leaders and volunteers to provide resources and information related to safety training, passenger information, signage, and management of ticketing machines. A strong partnership and good communication is necessary to support a seamless travel experience for our riders.
NNEPRA sets the standard for excellence in customer service, innovation, and performance. We’ve achieved national recognition for customer satisfaction, sustained growth, and financial performance.
The Downeaster is one of the most highly regarded and fastest growing passenger rail services in the nation. The NNEPRA team is constantly seeking new and innovative ways to increase revenue and improve customer service. We introduced wireless internet to Downeaster passengers two years before it was available on other Amtrak trains and now manage one of the most popular Group Travel Programs in the nation.
Fiscal Efficiency and Accountability
Although NNEPRA is focused on maintaining a quality service, we also carefully monitor every financial aspect of the operation, continually seeking ways to balance growth with efficiency and cost control, stay within our budget constraints, and minimize public support.
Capital Investment & Project Management
In addition to our involvement with day-to-day operations, NNEPRA develops and manages capital projects that support safety, reliability, and growth. Since the original $60 million rehabilitation required to initiate Downeaster service, NNEPRA has managed $10 million in capital projects that have reduced travel time, increased frequency, improved reliability and lowered maintenance costs. We were awarded a $35 million High Speed Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) grant to expand Downeaster service through Freeport to Brunswick, and are currently managing that project. Under NNEPRA’s leadership, Maine was the first state in the nation to put rail on the ground under the HSIPR program and the project is being showcased by the U.S. Department of Transportation as a model of national success.
NNEPRA develops the marketing and promotional campaigns that have made the Downeaster one of the fastest growing passenger rail services in the nation.
NNEPRA actively promotes the Downeaster through a series of creative campaigns targeted at corporate travelers, senior citizens, tourists, students, commuters, and sports fans. Through traditional and electronic media, social marketing, public outreach and merchandising, the Downeaster is recognized as a preferred mode of transportation throughout the region. Annual ridership, which was nearly 475,000 in FY2010, has increased 89% since 2005.
NNEPRA has developed a number of special programs and promotions to stimulate the economy, increase mobility, and meet specific needs of the traveling public such as the Train to Maine Campaign, a collaborative promotion in greater Boston targeted to increase the number of tourists coming to Maine. More than 10,000 Maine school kids have taken advantage of The Downeaster Discovery Program which offers discounted fares and planning tools for youth/school groups traveling for educational purposes. In partnership with the American Cancer Society, NNEPRA established a program to provide discounted transportation to patients referred to Boston for treatments.
According to one patient: "My only remaining option was to participate in a clinical trial in Boston. I was using a lot of money for gas to make the multiple trips required for my appointments and treatments. The Downeaster’s Cancer Care Program has made a big difference in my ability to participate in the clinical trial. Thank you!"
STATEMENT OF NON-DISCRIMINATION
"No person on the basis of race, color, national origin, or transportation disability will be subjected to discrimination in the level and quality of transportation services and transit-related benefits. Any person or persons who believe that there is discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, or transportation disability as it relates to the provision of transportation services and transit-related benefits may file a complaint with the Federal Transit Administration and/or the U.S. Department of Transportation."
Federal Transit Administration Office of Civil Rights
Attn: Title VI Program Coordinator
400 7th Street SW, Room 9100
Washington, DC 20590