Amtrak ridership increases in Michigan

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Amtrak ridership increases in Michigan

Unread postby BNSF 1088 » Wed Oct 27, 2004 10:28 am

Amtrak ridership increases in Michigan
BATTLE CREEK, Mich. - Michigan ridership has increased for the second consecutive year, officials with Amtrak told the Battle Creek Inquirer.
They attribute a 16.6 percent ridership increase in fiscal year 2004 to high gas prices and improved marketing.

"We set an all-time record for ridership nationally with 25 million people this year," said Ray Lang, Amtrak's director of government affairs.

"That breaks our record of 24 million set in 2003."

Lang also cited highway congestion as a reason for increased ridership.

In Michigan, 604,721 people rode the train in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, compared with 518,461 the previous year.

Every Amtrak station in Michigan, except for the border crossing into Canada, had increased ridership levels.

The 45.6 percent decrease at the border can be attributed to Amtrak discontinuing international service earlier this year.

John Herald could have driven from Ann Arbor to Battle Creek on Tuesday.

Instead, he and his daughter Emily boarded an Amtrak train for a day trip as part of Emily's birthday celebration.

"It¹s pretty much door to door convenience," Herald said.

"It saves a drive and it's a little easier with a 4-year-old because you can get up and move around in the train."

The trip Emily was most looking forward to, however, was the train ride back.

"I have presents at home," she said.

(This item appeared in the Battle Creek Inquirer Oct. 27, 2004)

October 27, 2004
Director of Save Our Trains Michigan

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Unread postby BNSF 1088 » Wed Oct 27, 2004 10:35 am

More people using Amtrak

Chris Springsteen
The Enquirer
http://www.battlecreekenquirer.com/apps ... 8124119655 (photos)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Kevin Hare/The Enquirer


Passengers board the eastbound Amtrak at the Battle Creek station Tuesday.
When and how much?

Eight Amtrak trains pass through Battle Creek every day: Four on their way to Chicago and four heading for Detroit. Westbound trains leave at 9:12 a.m., 9:49 a.m., 1:26 p.m. and 7:42 p.m. Eastbound trains leave at 11:52 a.m., 5:15 p.m., 6:56 p.m. and 9:57 p.m. Trips from Battle Creek to either Detroit or Chicago are $18 each way for one adult, but have many stops in between.




Kevin Hare/The Enquirer


The noon Amtrak approaches the Battle Creek station.
By the numbers

Amtrak's Michigan ridership increased 16.6 percent from last year. A list of some Michigan stops, ridership in 2003 and 2004, and percent increase follows.

Station 2004 2003 % up

Albion 1,021 896 13.9

Ann Arbor 108,498 94,264 15.1

Battle Creek 43,847 42,285 3.6

Canada 13,465 24,736 -45.6

Dearborn 65,509 57,376 14.1

Detroit 53,729 51,549 4.2

East Lansing 30,737 22,634 35.8

Flint 15,540 11,157 39.2

Grand Rapids 47,026 37,588 25.1

Holland 31,902 27,283 16.9

Jackson 22,752 21,585 5.4

Kalamazoo 75,345 66,313 13.6

Port Huron 8,359 6,276 33.2

St. Joseph 6,979 6,179 12.9



John Herald could have driven from Ann Arbor to Battle Creek on Tuesday.

Instead, he and his daughter Emily hopped an Amtrak train for the day trip as part of Emily's birthday celebration.

"It's pretty much door-to-door convenience," Herald said. "It saves a drive, and it's a little easier with a 4-year-old because you can get up and move around in the train."

It was John Herald's first train trip in about five years, but he said he will consider using the train more in the future.

Amtrak apparently is winning more new riders than the Heralds as its Michigan ridership has increased for the second consecutive year.

Officials with the national passenger railroad are attributing a 16.6 percent ridership increase in fiscal year 2004 to high gas prices and improved marketing.

"We set an all-time record for ridership nationally with 25 million people this year," said Ray Lang, Amtrak's director of government affairs. "That breaks our record of 24 million set in 2003."

Lang also identified highway congestion as a reason for the increased number of riders.

Battle Creek saw a 3.6 percent ridership increase — from 42,285 to 43,387 — at its station downtown, and Albion's stop had a 13.9 percent ridership increase — from 896 to 1,021.

In Michigan, 604,271 people rode the train in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, compared to 518,461 the previous year. Every station in Michigan, except for the border crossing into Canada, had increased ridership levels.

The 45.6 percent decrease at the border can be attributed to Amtrak discontinuing international service earlier this year.

Additionally, Kalamazoo's ridership increased from 66,313 to 75,345, a jump of 13.6 percent.

John Herald said the next trip the family takes to Chicago could be on the train.

The trip Emily Herald was most looking forward to, however, was the train ride home.

"I have presents at home," she said.

Chris Springsteen covers Battle Creek City Hall and Emmett Township. He can be reached at 966-0676 or at csprings@battlecr.gannett.com


Originally published October 27, 2004
Director of Save Our Trains Michigan

BNSF Conductor Lafayette LA
BNSF 1088
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Posts: 132
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