October 13, 2009

Hiawatha ridership down in '09...but still trending up

Not sure what this means for KRM partisans and the mayor's hope for a big payday on State Street property, but we're convinced both sides will declare it significant.

Amtrak's ridership is down on the Hiawatha's Milwaukee to Chicago run. The numbers for fiscal 2009, which ended Sept. 30, show a decline to 738,231, compared to 749,659 in 2008. At the same time, Hiawatha revenue grew from $13.1 million to $13.3 million. Keep in mind that Hiawatha ridership jumped 25% in 2008 over 2007... so even with this 1.5% drop it still shows solid growth.

See, something for both sides to crow about!

Overall, Amtrak's ridership dropped more than one million nationwide, but the year still was its second-best in history. Its trains carried 27.2 million passengers in 2009, better than any year except 2008, when it had 28.7 -- anybody remember $4/gallon gasoline? Yup, that was the year.

Ridership in 2009 was up 5.1% over 2007; Amtrak President Joseph Boardman blamed this year's decline on the weakened economy and a drop in business travel.


  1. I think what it means is that people that want to ride a train between Milwaukee and Chicago we already have one. Oh yeah and it is paid for partiallt by your taxes, but it is federal tax dollars those don't count right?

  2. Liking how The Post claims something going down reley means its going up.
    Fight the Power Fight KRM

  3. This doesn't look good for KRM. In order for this train to work. We need to take steps to break people from wanting to use a car. Public transportation would have to be fast and efficient enough.

  4. C/NW, keep in mind that the Racine Post is pro-KRM. Zeig Heil Mr. Mayor, where you go so does the Racine Post (at least until a conservative wins the office).

    The current owner of the rails that pass through Racine (is it the Southern Pacific?) have denied the KRM use of them. So, what tracks will they use? Will the taxpayers be forced to pay for new ones? There is already a very nice coach bus available to take us from Racine to the Kenosha Metra station or to downtown Milwaukee. The AmTrac is available to anyone who wants to use it. But these FACTS mean nothing to those liberals who want to foolishly continue to waste our money. Don't just fight the KRM, kill it!

  5. Hmmm Seems some folk don't know the difference of commuter rail and an Amtrak service. Also, that not all people drive cars or necessarily want to. Those some folk probably don't want to know. It's their choice to live in a crumbling dust bowl and for self.
    I wonder if some responders really care about the territory they live in or understand that declining industry only gets worse without a good transportation system in place. The first question from a new or relocating business is "hows your transportation". And they don't mean cars only. An RTA, COVERING BUSES AND TRAINS WOULD BE MUSIC TO THEIR EARS! AND 20% OF EXPENDITURES WOULD BE PAID BY OUT-OF-TOWNERS.
    Seniors, job seekers and workers, visitors, entertainment venues and so on would use alternative transportation. And trains are always on time with no weather delays. Yep, not all drive and stay home counting pennies with a grin.
    Take your car investment and billion dollar taxed roads away and what ya got? I'm not against cars, but some just don't want to bother. As far as road costs go, I galdly pay them, even though I don't use them all. It's a component of infra-structure. Do you also think that gas will never go above 4 bucks again? Someday it'll be 6 plus. Then we should catchup with the rest of the world? Don't worry; it won't cost you what some would like you to believe. Don't be scared of big numbers within some scare tactics of the certain few.