DETROIT (WWJ) – State transportation officials say a record number of people are taking the train. WWJ’s Rob Sanford reports Amtrak is doing well, despite things like track work and freight slowdowns.
The state Department of Transportation says all three Amtrak services experienced increases in ridership and revenue, which set new ridership records for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30 and collected $27.7 million in ticket revenue.
In figures for the 2010-2011 fiscal year, 503,290 passengers rode Amtrak Wolverine service trains on the Pontiac/Detroit-Chicago corridor, an increase of 4.9 percent from the same period a year ago. Ticket revenue was up by 11 percent to $18,769,770.
The Blue Water service on the Port Huron/East Lansing-Chicago route saw an impressive 18.6 percent increase with 187,065 passengers using the Amtrak service this year. Ticket revenue was up by 22.3 percent to $5,797,878.
Ridership on the Pere Marquette service on the Grand Rapids-Chicago route experienced a gain of 4.7 percent with 106,662 passengers riding Amtrak, while ticket revenue rose 9.8 percent to $3,197,106.
Amtrak operates the Blue Water and Pere Marquette services under a contract with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT). At this time, Amtrak does not receive any direct state support for the Wolverine service. Michigan is one of 15 states that provide state-supported service.