There has been an increase of Missourians traveling by train according to the Missouri Department of Transportation. Click to hear KMZU’s Jill Molloy talk with Administrator of Railroads for MoDOT Rod Massman.
Press Release from the Missouri Department of Transportation:
JEFFERSON CITY – More and more Missourians are choosing to travel by train. According to the Missouri Department of Transportation, ridership on Amtrak’s Missouri River Runner trains has grown every month, except for May, since October 2009. In January, that pattern continued with a 13.3 percent increase in passengers compared to the same period last year.
“The number of passengers on the Missouri River Runner continues to grow because the service has become consistently reliable. It has also proved to be a dependable transportation option this winter, especially during the historic snow storm,” said Rod Massman, MoDOT rail administrator. “Now with gas prices hovering around $3 a gallon, and possibly climbing higher this summer, the train will continue to be an important option for travelers.”
One factor that continues to help Missouri River Runner trains draw customers is its on-time performance, which was at 90 percent in January. The Missouri service also attained a 92 percent customer satisfaction rate in December, the fourth best out of 27 Amtrak state-supported and other short distance routes.
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. Plus, many communities along the St. Louis – Kansas City corridor continue their support of the service in that long-awaited station renovations in Sedalia are nearly complete and Hermann is in the final planning stages for a new station. Altogether, these projects will add capacity and build an even better and more reliable passenger train service across Missouri.