Posted: Oct 11, 2012 7:58 PM by Dax VanFossen - KAJ News
WHITEFISH- The number of people traveling by train is on the rise, partially because of more amenities and higher gas prices, according to a press release from Amtrak.
Amtrak reports their trains carried 31.2 million passengers this past fiscal year, which ended in September, marking it's the highest annual ridership since the railroad was formed in 1971.
The numbers also show that In the past 12 months ridership in the Whitefish area has grown 3.5%.
Amtrak spokesperson Steve Kulm says there are a variety of reasons why ridership keeps increasing every year.
"Our services have improved, we've provided WiFi to 70% of our passengers now, we've moved to e-ticketing, we've made some other improvements, but it's also because of high gasoline prices, continued growth and business travel, along the northeast corridor," Kulm said. "And there's a general increase in the popularity and appeal of traveling by rail."
Amtrak operates the Empire Builder line that runs along the Montana Hi-Line with stops in Wolf Point, Havre and Whitefish.