Amtrak sets new ridership record in Michigan

CONTACT: Janet Foran, MDOT Office of Communications, 517-335-7176

Amtrak sets new ridership record in Michigan

October 18, 2010 — Amtrak trains in Michigan have set new ridership records for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30 and collected $24.5 million in ticket revenue. The strong performance on the Michigan routes is evidence that passengers are choosing Amtrak more often, and consider train travel in the Great Lakes State a convenient travel option.

In figures for the 2009-2010 fiscal year, 479,782 passengers rode Amtrak Wolverine service trains on the Pontiac/Detroit-Chicago corridor, an increase of 8 percent from the same period a year earlier. Ticket revenue was up by more than 12 percent to $16,909,193.

The Blue Water train on the Port Huron/East Lansing-Chicago route saw an impressive 18.7 percent increase with 157,709 passengers using the Amtrak service in FY10. Ticket revenue was up by 15.3 percent to $4,741,560.

Ridership on the Pere Marquette train on the Grand Rapids-Chicago route experienced a slight drop, attributed to the fact that the New Buffalo station stop was switched from the Pere Marquette to the Wolverine and Blue Water lines in May 2010. Passenger travel was down by just 1.3 percent to 101,907, while ticket revenue rose 3.3 percent to $2,912,070.

“We believe the uptick in passenger rail travel is an indication of a modestly improving business climate, continuing high gasoline prices, and in this new economy, people choosing rail travel closer to home with local and regional destinations,” said State Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle.

“People have told us through the State Transportation Plan that they value choices, and train travel with its convenience and comfort seems to fit their needs,” he added.

“We thank every passenger for choosing Amtrak to meet their intercity travel needs,” said President and CEO Joseph Boardman. “More and more people see passenger rail as a way to get to where they need to go, and when our front line employees put them first, it helps to bring passengers back for another trip.”

Amtrak operates the Blue Water and Pere Marquette trains under a contract with the Michigan Department of Transportation. At this time, Amtrak does not receive any direct state support for the Wolverine. Michigan is one of 15 states that provide state-supported service.

For a Station Activity Summary Report that shows individual station statistics for fiscal years 2009 and 2010, go to the MDOT Web site for details.

MDOT: Working with our partners at airports, bus systems, marine and rail to find innovative solutions for
Michigan’s transportation systems.

Mrs. Rianna Flores
Communications Student Assistant
Michigan Department of Transportation
Office of Communications
517-373-2160
floresr1@michigan.gov

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