Amtrak Ridership Up in Kansas, Down in Missouri

Amtrak ridership in the Midwest during fiscal year 2015 continued to be mixed bag with patronage rising in Kansas while falling in Missouri.

The Chicago-Los Angeles Southwest Chief, which serves six Kansas stations, posted a record year with more than 367,000 passengers.

The six Kansas stations on the route served more than 49,000 of those passengers, a slight increase over 2014.

On the other hand, the Missouri River Runner route between St. Louis and Kansas City saw a decline of 10,000 passengers in FY2015, carrying about 179,000 for the year that ended Sept. 30.

The Missouri Department of Transportation, which helps underwrite the costs of the River Runner trains, blamed low gasoline prices, which are about 24 cents a gallon lower than they wre a year ago, says the American Automobile Association

“When gas prices go down, we do see ridership fall some,” said Kristi Jamison, railroad operations manager at the Missouri Department of Transportation.

Missouri is also served by the Southwest Chief and the Chicago-San Antonio Texas Eagle.

MoDOT officials also said that track work that resulted in delays and cancellations also had an adverse effect on River Runner ridership.

The River Runner operates twice daily over Union Pacific tracks.

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