Recently a group called Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission (MIPRC) has been doing a study and research based upon how often college students in the Midwest travel on the train, using Amtrak to go back and forth between home and school.
The study was conducted in November 2015-February 2016. MIPRC focused on 6 states and 30 colleges and Universities across the Midwest. Those states included Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri,and Wisconsin.
Quincy University was among one of those colleges used in the study focusing on the state of Illinois.
Amtrak runs twice a day everyday in Quincy. There is a morning train scheduled to depart at 6:12 and an evening train scheduled to depart at 5:30. Tickets usually range anywhere between $28-$78 in total. Sometimes for a one-way or round trip ticket. Also depending on the holidays and how early you reserve your ticket prices may vary.
Not all college students and their families have vehicles or reliable transportation to commute back and forth home without relying on the use of Amtrak.
“For someone who doesn`t own a car and is 5 hours away from home, I rely on the train quite a bit. If the train was no longer offered I would see myself spending most of the holidays alone in Quincy” Brooke Speckman, senior at Quincy university stated.
Today the MIPRC announced the results from the surveys given to the 30 different colleges and universities from the previous states listed above. Including Illinois.
The Illinois summary assessment found on http://miprc.org/ included, stated A total of 3,754 respondents from 10 Illinois four-year schools located near Amtrak stations participated in the MIPRC Colleges & Universities Passenger Rail Survey: Blackburn College; Governors State University; Illinois Wesleyan University; Knox College; Quincy University; Southern Illinois UniversityEdwardsville; Trinity Christian College; University of Illinois-Chicago; University of Illinois-Springfield; and Wheaton College.
Not only were students given the opportunity to take the survey but so were faculty and staff.
More than 77 percent reported as students; of them, almost all (93 percent) reported they were full-time students. Sixteen percent of respondents reported as staff, and 7.5 percent as faculty according to MIPRC Illinois summary assessment located on their webpage.
“These results are very encouraging; not only is there a solid ridership base today, but the survey shows enormous passenger growth potential could result from well targeted marketing and education campaigns. That’s as good a ‘return on investment’ as we could hope to find,” says Missouri state Sen. David Pearce, chair of the MIPRC University Partnerships Committee, “We encourage states, schools and Amtrak to work over the summer break so they can begin tapping this market when fall terms begin.”
From the results shown it sounds as if Amtrak will still be around and helping college students get home for the holidays, visits, and emergencies.
The Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission (MIPRC) is a group that advocate for passenger rail improvements. The group was founded in 2000. MIPRC goal is to support, promote, and coordinate regional improvements.
To learn more about MIPRC and their study visit them at http://miprc.org