WEST MICHIGAN (WKZO) -- A new Brookings Institute study has determined that Amtrak’s Grand Rapids to Chicago Route, the Pere Marquette, has seen its ridership increase 72% in the last 15 years.
The Blue Water and the Wolverine runs have also seen increases, but not as large. The Washington D.C. Think Tank says that these relatively short routes do far better financially, than the long distance routes that have to compete directly with airlines, because they are far cheaper, and often less time consuming that the time it takes to go through security at an airport.
Amtrak Spokesman Mike Magliari says the Brookings data suggests that Amtrak ridership has increased faster than any other domestic mode of transportation, faster than the GDP and population growth.
The introduction of higher speed rail from Chicago to Detroit could boost those numbers even more.