Amtrak's Hiawatha Service sets ridership record in 2011

MILWAUKEE -- Amtrak is celebrating the success of its Hiawatha Service which connects Milwaukee to Chicago. In 2011, ridership on the Hiawatha surpassed 800,000 for the first time in its history. The final number was 823,163.

Amtrak’s Hiawatha Service provides transportation between Milwaukee and Chicago, with seven round-trips Monday through Saturday and six round-trips on Sunday. Train stops include the Milwaukee Intermodal Station (MIS); Milwaukee Airport Rail Station (MARS) at Mitchell International Airport; Sturtevant, near Racine; Glenview, IL; and Chicago’s Union Station. A one-way trip from Milwaukee to Chicago, approximately 86 miles, takes about 90 minutes.

In addition to the 2011 calendar year record, monthly Hiawatha Service ridership records were set in every month but August of last year. According to Amtrak’s 2011 fiscal year data, the Hiawatha Service is the busiest Amtrak corridor in the Midwest and the sixth busiest in the country.

The Hiawatha Service began in 1989. It is operated by Amtrak and is jointly funded by the states of Wisconsin and Illinois.