Midwest has much to be thankful for in Amtrak's FY 2017 station satisfaction survey
Three Midwestern Amtrak stations are among the top 10 for overall station experience in FY 2017, according to an annual Amtrak customer satisfaction survey.
Kirkwood, Missouri’s station along the state-supported Missouri River Runner route (seen in the photo at left), held onto second place (the same position as in the FY 2016 survey) with a 95 percent satisfaction rating.
“Missouri River Runner passengers truly appreciate the volunteers at the Kirkwood, Mo., Amtrak station, which is evident as they continue to rank their experience there as one of the best in the nation’s passenger rail system year after year,” said Eric Curtit, administrator of railroads at the Missouri Department of Transportation. “Kirkwood has a rich railroad history and the well-kept, historic station is the heart of the community’s business district. Support from the city at large and a fantastic, dedicated group of volunteers are key to its continuous success. Congratulations!”
Princeton, Illinois’s station, along the state-supported Carl Sandburg and Illinois Zephyr (Chicago-Quincy) and the long-distance Southwest Chief (Chicago-Los Angeles) routes, came in third, with a 94 percent rating.
“We would like to commend the welcoming City of Princeton, the dedicated caretakers of the Princeton Amtrak depot, and the friendly customers frequenting the depot, as Princeton has exhibited one of the highest customer satisfaction scores for overall station experience in all of Amtrak’s national system in 2017. Communities like Princeton are vital to keeping a healthy intercity passenger rail system in Illinois,” said Todd A. Popish, passenger rail operations section chief at the Illinois Department of Transportation. “Congratulations to Princeton!”
Dearborn, Michigan’s station, along the state-supported Wolverine (Detroit-Chicago) route, came in 8th place with 94 percent, according to the survey. Dearborn had been third in the 2016 survey (with a 95 percent rating).
Rounding out the top ten are Cary, N.C., (first), Salisbury, N.C. (fourth), Norfolk, Virginia (fifth), Rutland, Vermont (sixth), Winter Park, Florida (seventh), Wells, Maine (ninth), and Dover, New Hampshire, (tenth).
Midwestern stations also dominated the survey’s top 10 “most improved” stations for FY 2017.
Two Indiana stations – Waterloo, on the long-distance Capitol Limited and Lake Shore Limited routes, and Lafayette, on the state-supported Hoosier State (Indianapolis-Chicago) and long-distance Cardinal routes – placed first and second with respective 25-point and 19-point improvements in their ratings over FY 2016.
“As a member of the Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission, I am pleased to see the top two stations showing the greatest improvement are located in Indiana,” said Rep. Sharon Negele, the Indiana House’s appointee to MIPRC. “As my district includes parts of Lafayette near the station, I am aware people throughout our community depend on the passenger rail services for both travel and employment.”
The Lafayette station was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2003, and recently received a new wheelchair lift and enclosure as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, she said, adding, “I am eager for railways across Indiana to continue to advance along with the rest of our state’s infrastructure.”
Winona, Minnesota, along the long-distance Empire Builder route (Chicago-Portland/Seattle), came in sixth, while Osceola, Iowa, along the long-distance California Zephyr route (Chicago-Emeryville, California), came in seventh – both with 8-point improvements over 2016.
Omaha, Nebraska, also along the California Zephyr route, came in ninth, while East Lansing, Michigan, on the state-supported Blue Water route (Port Huron-Chicago), came in tenth, both with 7-point improvements over 2016.