Heartland Flyer ridership up

By: KXII Staff & Wire Reports
By: KXII Staff & Wire Reports

ARDMORE, Okla. -- Ridership on Amtrak's service between Oklahoma City and Fort Worth, Texas, continues to rise as gas prices remain high.

The Heartland Flyer had 40 percent more passengers last month than it did in July a year ago. Amtrak reported having about 11,700 passengers last month, as compared to 8,300 a year ago.

Amtrak says ridership is up by 17 percent during the past 10 months. There were 67,000 passengers in the period from October to July compared with 57,000 in the same period a year earlier.

That train makes two stops each day in Ardmore. Civic leaders say they have certainly noticed more people getting off the train.

"We see a lot more people here down at the depot boarding the train, wanting to take trips, wanting to take trips to California, wanting to take trips to Atlanta. Different things like that because it is so much more inexpensive than flying or driving your car," James Lamey at the Ardmore Main Street Authority says.

Supporters had to rally in 2005 to extend public funding of the daily train service, which is now considering extending to Tulsa or Kansas City, Mo.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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