Survey Finds Amtrak Support on Campuses

A survey sponsored by the Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission found that more than half of the students, faculty and staff at 30 Midwest colleges said they would be willing to ride Amtrak to and from campus if more frequent service was available.

The online survey, which drew nearly 19,200 respondents in nine Midwest states, was conducted between November 2015 and February 2016.

About of a quarter of the respondents said they had never ridden an Amtrak train to and from school.

Amtrak logoSixty-eight percent said they considered passenger trains to be important for the future of transportation in the United States.

The survey found that 65 percent of those who have ridden to school said that Amtrak service is an important resource for them to be able to attend school.

Forty-four percent of those who have not ridden said they’d be willing to do so if there were stations close to their permanent residences.

Another 28 percent said transportation provided by their school to the nearest Amtrak station might motivate them to use passenger rail in the future.

Of respondents who identified themselves, 75 percent were students, 15 percent were staff and 10 percent were faculty. Of student respondents, 90 percent were full time.

“The survey’s encouraging findings are a good first step,” said Tim Hoeffner, MIPRC’s chair and director of the Office of Rail at the Michigan Department of Transportation. “We look forward to working with our partner states, Amtrak and schools in highlighting the advantages of passenger rail for what is clearly a growth market.”

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