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Midwest Amtrak ridership shows a mixed bag, but with mostly positive trends Read more

Midwest Amtrak ridership shows a mixed bag, but with mostly positive trends

Ridership on seven of nine state-supported Amtrak routes in the Midwest grew by leaps and bounds over the last 10 fiscal years, but has dropped during the last five — a situation that state officials attribute at least in part to construction projects that aim to increase ridership and improve travel times over the long term.

While total ridership on the region’s routes grew 42 percent from fiscal years 2006 to 2016 (up to a total of 2,705,848 passengers), it dropped 8 percent from FY 2011 to FY 2016. Corridor improvement projects got underway after 2011, when federal funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 began flowing to state departments of transportation.

However, ridership figures for October 2016, released just before Thanksgiving, show that shorter-term regional trend may be starting to reverse – the Midwest’s state-supported routes carried 224,043 passengers in October, an increase of more than three percent (7,115 passengers) over October 2015.

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