Two Ohio Amtrak Routes to Get Performance Evaluation
Ohio’s existing train stations show 10 percent increase in ridership
COLUMBUS (Wednesday, March 10, 2010) - With more than 128,000 riders getting on Amtrak trains in Ohio last year - up 10 percent from the year before - the nation’s largest passenger rail operator is looking for ways to improve customer service on two of its three long-distance routes through Ohio.
The efforts are part of Amtrak’s multi-year Route Performance Improvement program. Amtrak shared an update on the program with the Ohio Rail Development Commission and the Ohio Department of Transportation earlier this week.
“Amtrak long-distance trains are running strong,” said President and CEO Joseph Boardman. “We are making changes, improving our service, and passengers are responding favorably,” he said, noting that total ridership on Amtrak’s 15 long-distance trains reached nearly 4.2 million in fiscal year 2009.
Upcoming performance reviews of five national system routes will include the “Cardinal” - a tri-weekly train between Chicago, Washington DC and New York City that serves Cincinnati - and the “Capitol Limited” - a daily train between Chicago and Washington DC with stops in Toledo, Sandusky, Elyria, Cleveland and Alliance.
Amtrak reported 128,174 total riders at Ohio train stations in 2009, a 10 percent increase from ridership rates in 2008. The busiest Ohio stations in 2009 were in Toledo with 54,488 riders and Cleveland with 39,371 riders.
These upcoming reviews will focus on all elements of train service that impact the passenger experience: employee-passenger interactions, staffing levels, food service and amenities, equipment cleanliness and reliability, stations, and schedules.
“We are very pleased that Amtrak is undertaking this review and support it as it is consistent with our statewide passenger rail strategy to work together toward better service on the existing long distance train routes through Ohio”, says Ohio Rail Development Commission Executive Director Matt Dietrich.
Dietrich pointed out that service improvements at both Cincinnati and Cleveland will be even more important as Ohio gets passenger trains rolling again between Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton and Cincinnati with the 3C “Quick Start” project.
In January, Ohio received $400 million in federal stimulus funds to connect cities along the 250-mile 3C corridor with passenger trains running up to 79 miles per hour. Independent ridership estimates show that more than 478,000 riders would use the 3C “Quick Start” in the first year of operation.
For more information contact: or Mark Magliari, Amtrak Media Relations Manager, at 312 880.5390
Stu Nicholson, ORDC Communications, at 614-644-0513