MEC407 wrote: ↑Thu Aug 20, 2020 1:17 pm I'm not a statistician, and maybe this isn't the best way to look at this... but here's an example anyway, just for the heck of it:When comparing different trains we are comparing apples with oranges anyways. How many passengers from Boston head to Maine, or head towards New York? How many passengers from Chicago head to Milwaukee, or head to St. Louis, Galesburg, Carbondale, Detroit, or Grand Rapids?
If we add up the populations of the cities served by the Hiawatha, the total is 3,351,922. If we add up the populations of the cities served by the Downeaster, the total is 994,543. Calculated as a percentage of population, the Hiawatha's ridership is 26.1%. The Downeaster's ridership is 55.5%.
As we all know, numbers and statistics can be used in all kinds of creative ways to prove wildly differing points. I'm just trying to find a way to measure a train's success or popularity that is more meaningful than raw passenger numbers, which I'm sure we can all agree do not tell the whole story.
Taking the same question from the opposite direction, from Milwaukee or from Portland, how many passengers are on vacation or commuting, and how many jobs are available in Milwaukee or Portland come into play. The distances these trains travel are short enough for commuters.
I do not wish to suggest all trains should be compared against each other with any single statistic, but I am suggesting claiming one train is best against all others without any data to back it up is just someone being boastful and we should take that claim with high degree of skepticism.