OLYMPIA – Ridership on Amtrak Cascades finished 2010 with a 16-year high of 838,251 passengers. Total annual ridership exceeded 2009 by 76,641 for a 10 percent increase. The final ridership total capped a year of record heights where eight of the 12 months set new benchmarks.
“This tremendous growth in ridership confirms the demand for Amtrak Cascades and the need to continue improving the service and reliability,” said Washington State Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond. “The next steps in our long-term plan will improve rail infrastructure, reduce freight- and passenger-train congestion and expand Amtrak Cascades service.”
Washington State received $782 million in federal Recovery Act funds for high-speed rail in 2010. WSDOT will invest the federal money in Amtrak Cascades, a high speed passenger rail service as a convenient travel option that eases traffic congestion and reduces emissions.
The fourth quarter of 2010 set a new ridership record with an increase of more than 1,700 riders over 2009, making it the highest fourth-quarter ridership since 1994. Total ridership for the fourth quarter was 202,675.
Service to Vancouver, B.C., remained in high demand and contributed to Amtrak Cascades ridership growth. More than 138,000 riders traveled to and from Vancouver, B.C., in 2010. A second daily train to Vancouver, B.C., began in August 2009 which provided more travel options for Amtrak Cascades passengers especially during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. The second train is to remain in service through at least October 2011.
Amtrak Cascades operates three daily round trips between Portland and Seattle; one daily round trip each between Seattle and Vancouver, B.C., and Portland and Vancouver, B.C.; and daily service between Seattle and Eugene, Ore., via Portland. Amtrak Cascades is operated by Amtrak in partnership with the Washington and Oregon departments of transportation. For Amtrak Cascades fares and schedules, visit AmtrakCascades.com.