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Tuesday, 22 January 2013 14:38

MDOT and Amtrak announce best-ever ridership record on three Michigan passenger rail routes in 2012

(AREA) -- Nearly 800,000 passengers traveled on Amtrak trains in Michigan in 2012, setting a highest-ever ridership record for the state's three routes. Michigan's routes include the three-times-a-day Wolverine Service (Pontiac/Detroit-Chicago), once daily Blue Water Service (Port Huron-East Lansing-Chicago), and once daily Pere Marquette Service (Grand Rapids-Chicago). MDOT officials cited increased awareness of train service and a positive focus on the future of rail travel as the most important reasons why ridership numbers are increasing. There were 792,769 riders overall, with 495,277 traveling the Wolverine, 187,991 passengers on the Blue Water, and 109,501 passengers on the Pere Marquette. Revenue from the three routes also jumped to a best-ever high of $27.8 million in 2012, with Blue Water Service at $6.1 million. Amtrak operates intercity trains in partnership with 15 states, including Michigan's Pere Marquette and Blue Water services, which are supported by state grants.