Local and Nationwide Amtrak Ridership Declines

Ridership on local Amtrak routes isn’t as high as it has been, but there’s one obvious reason for it.

Amtrak Government Relations Director Derrick James says ridership in the Chicago-to-Quincy corridor which makes stops daily in Galesburg, is down about seven percent for the first half of the current fiscal year — lower than declines seen nationwide averaging around two percent.

James says the winter weather is to blame, and efforts are being made to get that ridership back up.

“We’ve started some campaigns — advertising campaigns nationally and in some local markets — to try and build that ridership back up,” James said, “so we can recover what we did not recover from those losses up through this point.”

On average, James says all short-distance corridors nationwide are seeing a five-percent decline in travel. James says he hopes that with the recent Easter holiday, a turnaround in ridership will begin.

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