Some Want Amtrak to Increase Staffing

From WLNS:

Amtrack ridership has been going up… even hitting “record highs” here in Michigan.

Now some managers at the Jackson Station are asking, why isn’t Amtrak bringing in more workers?  They say it’s currently running with a skeleton staff.

Passengers at the Jackson Amtrak Station have lots of reasons for taking the train. Whether its easier, relaxing or even cheaper.  Beth Myers is an Amtrak passenger and says, “All around I’ll probably save $100. Just because of the parking, and what it’ll cost in gas to get to chicago from where I live in Adrian and back.”

Regardless of the reason, ridership is up.  Back in 2002 just under 300,000 passengers rode the Wolverine Line.  In the last fiscal year, there was a record 500,000 or more passengers.

Tyler Chateau, another Amtrak passenger says, “The train ride is just as packed as a Greyhound Bus to get from point A to point B.  The staffing in the stations is a lot less than it used to be.”

That’s what has workers here in Jackson puzzled. Back in March 2002 when those numbers got so low, Amtrak cut the late night shift at this station.

Brian Karohoff from Jackson Amtrak says, “There’s three trains that come through while we’re closed.  There’s no way to get in to the station. People have to wait outside when waiting for the train… and when they get off the train there’s no facilities they can get into, or get out of the weather.”

Brian Karohoff has been handing out flyers to passengers, asking them to reach out to Amtrak and request to have that second shift added back.

“This is something that’s missed. With the increase in ridership here, I’m hearing a lot more passengers saying, boy, I wish we were open here,” says Karohoff.

For now, things have to keep rolling as is.  All other Amtrak Lines in the state have also had more riders. All together the routes collected close to $28-million in ticket sales last year.

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