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Business news in brief

In the Region

Amtrak sets ridership records

Amtrak set ridership and revenue records on the Northeast Corridor in fiscal 2014, which ended Sept. 30, the national railroad said Monday. The 11.6 million passengers on Amtrak's busiest route represented a 3.3 percent increase from 2013, and ticket revenue was $1.2 billion, up 8.2 percent. Ridership and revenue were also up for the Keystone Service, between Harrisburg and New York City via Philadelphia. But long-distance passenger train service, hampered by poor on-time performance, interference from freight traffic, and bad weather, saw a drop in ridership, which was off 4.5 percent, and revenue, down 2.9 percent. - Paul Nussbaum

Sunoco pipeline pumping

Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P., the Philadelphia energy company, said it resumed deliveries of crude oil Sunday on its Mid-Valley Pipeline, which shut down Oct. 13 after a rupture and spill in northwest Louisiana. Sunoco spokesman Jeffrey P. Shields said the repaired pipeline was operating at 80 percent of maximum operating pressure under orders of the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. The pipeline delivers crude oil from Texas to Midwestern refineries and terminates near Detroit. The cause of the failure is undetermined, Shields said. The spill polluted about four miles of a creek feeding Caddo Lake, and prompted the evacuation of three homes. Environmental remediation continues. Shields said workers had collected about 2,900 barrels of oil - more than 121,000 gallons. - Andrew Maykuth

Gambling regulators visiting

Gambling regulators from around the world will be in Philadelphia this week for the annual conference of the International Association of Gaming Regulators. The meeting is at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, with the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board acting as host. Sessions Tuesday and Wednesday will cover such topics as problem gambling around the world, the use of Bitcoins in gambling, and Internet gambling. Local participants include Susan Hensel, director of licensing at the Gaming Control Board, and David Rebuck, director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. - Harold Brubaker

Frontier scraps route

With lackluster consumer interest, Frontier Airlines said it would not start nonstop flights between Trenton and Nassau, Bahamas. Denver-based Frontier planned to start service Nov. 20. It also scrapped nonstop service between Washington Dulles and Nassau. Frontier said customers with current reservations would be contacted by the company and receive a full refund or could rebook on another flight option to Florida with no additional fee. - Linda Loyd

Snider gives $5M to U. of Md.

Ed Snider, longtime owner of the Flyers and chairman of Comcast-Spectacor, said he gave $5 million to the Robert H. Smith School of Business at Snider's alma mater, the University of Maryland, to fund the Ed Snider Center for Enterprise and Markets. The billionaire chemical magnate and political donor Charles Koch is kicking in an additional $1 million. Maryland has tapped professor Rajshree Agarwal to run the center. - Joseph N. DiStefano


Twitter loss up; user growth slows

Twitter Inc.'s third-quarter user growth slowed and its losses widened as the social network continued to struggle to generate more ad revenue. Twitter reported the number of active users rose 23 percent to 284 million, compared with 24 percent growth in the prior period. Sales more than doubled to $361.3 million, but its third-quarter net loss widened to $175.5 million from $64.6 million a year earlier. "Twitter simply hasn't changed much over the past nine years - while it has enormous notoriety, that hasn't translated into an enormous user base," said Nate Elliott, an analyst at Forrester Research Inc. "If the company can't get more people engaged with its site more often, marketers might shift their focus elsewhere." - Bloomberg News

Sales of existing homes rise

The index that tracks contracts for pending sales of existing homes increased 0.3 percent in September after dropping 1 percent in August, the National Association of Realtors said. Still-tight credit and low inventories remain hurdles for a sluggish housing recovery more than five years after the downturn. More Americans are being helped by faster progress in the employment picture, allowing those who are able to get a mortgage the opportunity to take advantage of historically low rates. - Bloomberg News

GM's recall bill is $2.7 billion

General Motors Co. said recall and car-loan charges for this year rose 8 percent to $2.7 billion, as the company is hit almost daily with new lawsuits over the call-ins. The Detroit-based automaker spent $680 million to repair defective ignition switches in 2.6 million cars and $325 million to rework or replace ignition keys in 12.1 million cars in the nine months through Sept. 30, according to a regulatory filing. - Bloomberg News