Amtrak’s Hiawatha Service sets ridership record in 2012

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) — For the ninth time in the last 10 years, the Amtrak Hiawatha Service passenger rail line set a ridership record.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT), 2012 ridership totaled 832,500. That is up from 823,163 in 2011 – when ridership surpassed 800,000 for the first time.

Amtrak’s Hiawatha Service provides transportation between Milwaukee and Chicago, with seven round-trips Monday through Saturday and six round-trips on Sunday. Train stops include the Milwaukee Intermodal Station; Milwaukee Airport Rail Station at General Mitchell International Airport; Sturtevant, near Racine; Glenview, IL; and Chicago’s Union Station. The 86 mile trip from Milwaukee to Chicago takes approximately 90 minutes.

In addition to the 2012 calendar year record, monthly Hiawatha Service ridership records were set in January, February, March, April, June, August, September and October. According to Amtrak’s 2012 fiscal year data, the Hiawatha Service is the busiest Amtrak corridor in the Midwest and the sixth busiest in the country.

State sponsorship for the Hiawatha Service began in 1989. It is operated by Amtrak and is jointly funded by the states of Wisconsin and Illinois.