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All three Amtrak routes show ridership growth in Michigan

Contact: Janet Foran, MDOT Office of Communications,
foranj@michigan.gov
517-335-7176
Agency: Transportation

FAST FACTS:
- Amtrak trains in Michigan have set new ridership records for FY 2011.
- Despite track work and freight slowdowns, the Wolverine service continues to grow.
- Blue Water service has impressive passenger growth.

October 13, 2011 -- Amtrak trains in Michigan have set new ridership records for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30 and collected $27.7 million in ticket revenue. Although track work and freight slowdowns between Detroit and Chicago strongly impacted the Wolverine service and contributed to slower growth than anticipated, all three Amtrak services experienced increases in ridership and 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 in FY2011. 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.

"This past year marks the highest ridership totals ever on Amtrak services in Michigan," said State Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle. "All three lines, especially the Blue Water, have made great gains, despite the slowdowns on the Pontiac/Detroit-Chicago corridor. We've taken steps to repair the track between Kalamazoo and Ypsilanti, so that will help bring speeds back to what customers expect."

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.

For a Station Activity Summary Report that shows individual station statistics for FY 2010 and 2011, go to the MDOT Web site for details.

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