JEFFERSON CITY - The number of people choosing to travel by Amtrak Missouri River Runner trains continues to grow. In September, 14,150 passengers rode the Amtrak service compared to 13,038 in September 2010 - an increase of 8.5 percent.
"The number of passengers on the Missouri River Runner continues to grow because the service has become consistently reliable," said Michelle Teel, MoDOT's Multimodal director. "With gas prices continuing to hover around $3 a gallon, traveling by train is an economical option for travelers."
On-time performance, a factor that continues to help Missouri River Runner trains draw customers, was at 90 percent in September.
Earlier today in St. Louis, Amtrak celebrated a 30-million-passenger national milestone. In fiscal year 2011, 30 million people rode the rails, the highest ridership total since 1971. A local woman received a 30-day pass to travel to any location in the 45-state Amtrak network. The celebration was held at the S. Louis Gateway Station.
Amtrak trains have been supported by the state financially since 1979. Growth in ridership increases ticket revenues and helps keep the state's costs for the service down.
In addition, Missouri has received $37 million to date from the Federal Railroad Administration to remove bottlenecks along the corridor, conduct a comprehensive state rail plan and improve access to the St. Louis Gateway Station. These projects will add capacity and build an even better and more reliable passenger train service across Missouri.