The Bellingham Business Journal
Ridership on Amtrak Cascades finished 2010 with a 16-year high of more than 838,000 passengers, a 10 percent increase over 2009. The final ridership total capped a year of record highs 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 in a press release. “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 and is investing that money in Amtrak Cascades.
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 and 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, which started in 1993, is operated by Amtrak in partnership with the Washington and Oregon departments of transportation. For more information, visit www.amtrakcascades.com.