Amtrak Cascades sees record ridership

The Bellingham Business Journal

The first quarter of 2010 set a new ridership record for Amtrak Cascades with an increase of nearly 34,000 riders over 2009, making it the highest ridership for the first quarter since 1994.

Total ridership for the first quarter was 183,773 for all Amtrak Cascades trains — an increase of 22 percent.

“Amtrak Cascades continues to gain popularity as a great travel option for people who want to avoid highway congestion and reduce their carbon footprint,” Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond said. “With the addition of the second train service to Vancouver, B.C., and future expansions in the next few years with Recovery Act funds, this service will continue to be a great investment for Washington and the region.”

Compared to 2009, Amtrak Cascades ridership has seen growth each month in the first three months of this year. January ridership was 55,989 and February ridership soared to 60,745. This growth in ridership was due largely to the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver. March recorded the highest ridership for the quarter at 67,039.

A large portion of the ridership growth has been from the trains traveling to and from the Lower Mainland. In August 2009, a second train to and from Vancouver was added and it included first time direct-train service out of Portland, Ore.

Amtrak Cascades operates one daily round trip between Seattle and Vancouver, B.C., and between Portland and Vancouver, B.C. Amtrak Cascades is operated by Amtrak in partnership with the Washington and Oregon Departments of Transportation.

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