©2011 Galesburg Broadcasting Co.
|IDOT Looking at Reducing Traffic Crashes, Improving State Amtrak Service
|The number of traffic fatalities in Illinois continues to decline.
The state last year recorded its lowest number of traffic fatalities since 1924 with 1,249 deaths. Through October of this year, there were 843 traffic fatalities.
Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Milt Sees says he's worked hard to help bring downthe number of deaths on Illinois roads. He says safer cars, safer roads, and higher seat beat usage are the main reasons for the decrease in highway fatality numbers.
State officials also say more drivers on Illinois roads are visiting rest areas. Sees says he's strongly considering selling sponsorships to rest areas to generate funds for their upkeep, something that has not been allowed in the past.
In addition, IDOT is considering the purchase of coaches to add capacity to Amtrak trains servicing downstate Illinois. Ridership on downstate trains is the highest in 30 years, up 15 percent from the previous year. Sees says he's inquiring whether there's any flexibility in the fare structure to allow the sate to add a surcharge to cover the costs of adding coaches.
In the fiscal year that ended September 30th, Amtrak officials say nearly 1.1 million tickets were sold on local routes serving the downstate area. That's an increase of over 140,000 passengers from the previous year. The figure includes passengers on local trains like Amtrak's Carl Sandburg and Illinois Zephyr -- which travel to and from Chicago making stops in Galesburg -- as well as the city of New Orleans, Texas Eagle, California Zephyr, and the Southwest Chief who travel to or from points in Illinois.
|11 15 08 by Newsroom
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