Illinois and Wisconsin may be in a bidding war for jobs – and don’t even talk about the Packers-Bears rivalry. But Ethan Johnson with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation says the two states have a long record of cooperation in helping to fund Amtrak’s Hiawatha Service between Chicago and Milwaukee.
The route continues to grow in popularity. Johnson said the service has broken a ridership record. “Ridership back in 2000 was about 427,000 riders. This past year we just fell short of 800,000 riders,” Johnson says. That’s following a slight decrease in ridership in 2009, credited to the economic downturn.
The Hiawatha makes stops at downtown Milwaukee depot and at Mitchell Field, Sturtevant and Glenview, Illinois. Johnson says an occasional train may be standing room only, as seats are sold on an ‘unreserved’ basis.