Amtrak ridership on Illinois routes is up 5.6 percent through the first 11 months of the federal fiscal year. Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari says this is because Amtrak is beating its competition. “Our primary competition is driving, and driving is not getting any more pleasant or any more inexpensive. In fact driving is becoming increasingly unpleasant and increasingly expensive, and for a lot of people, we’re a great option instead of driving,” he said.
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The total Illinois passenger county for the first 11 months of Fiscal Year 2012 grew by 100,000 over the same period in 2011. Passengers increased 4 percent on the Quincy-to-Chicago route, 4.6 percent on the Carbondale-to-Chicago Route, and 10.9 percent on the St. Louis-to-Chicago route, amazing, Magliari says, due to the amount of construction and disruption as tracks are improved. The Milwaukee route saw a 2 percent increase.