Ridership on Amtrak’s Missouri River Runner route is up 4 percent in the second quarter of fiscal year 2013, which is roughly 2,000 passengers more than the same time period the previous year. Increases in ridership are likely due to mild weather, holidays, and improved service, including on-time performance of trains, according to the Missouri Department of Transportation (MODOT). Amtrak added extra trains to the route over the holiday season and for special events like Oktoberfest in order to accommodate the larger numbers of riders.
The Missouri River Runner runs between St. Louis and Kansas City, with two round-trip trains operating daily. There have been a number of efforts recently by MODOT and Amtrak to improve travel times and enhance the route’s publicity, which could be part of the reason for the uptick in ridership. In addition, infrastructure along the route has seen recent improvements with the completion of the Webster Groves crossover. And with the Osage River Bridge under construction and plans in the works for a new approach to the Merchants Bridge and a third track at the St. Louis Railroad Terminal, the improved train service will likely keep the ridership numbers trending upward.