Amtrack ridership up in 2010

Published on Thu, Oct 28, 2010 by By Jeremy Schwartz

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The Amtrak route between Eugene, Oregon, and Vancouver, B.C. has set records for ridership in the first nine months of 2010, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation.

The Cascades route saw a 7 percent increase in third-quarter ridership in 2010 with 16,100 more travellers making the trip than did over the same time period last year. The total number in the third quarter, 237,162, made for the highest ridership level since service began in 1994.

“For people throughout Oregon, Washington and British Columbia, AmtrakCascades has proven year after year to be a valuable transportation option, and the demand continues to grow,” Washington transportation secretary Paula Hammond said in a press release.

The first and second quarters of 2010 proved to be record-breaking also with ridership increasing 22 percent and 11 percent, respectively, from last year.

These numbers come as the Canada Border Services Agency recently announced it will waive the border inspection fees for the second Cascades route train, which started service in August 2009 to handle increased ridership due to the winter Olympics.

Governor Chris Gregoire criticized the Canadian government for planning to impose the inspection fees, which were estimated to raise Cascades route ticket prices by $20.