Q: How has the coronavirus affected Amtrak’s routes through Champaign?
A: Like everywhere, ridership is down a lot, spokesman Marc Magliari said.
“Ridership’s about 10 percent of normal. A little more in some places, a little less in others,” he said. “We don’t believe that we’re going to get to even halfway back to where we were through all of ’21.”
Because of this, state-supported routes through Champaign (the Illini and Saluki routes) have already had their service reduced.
Now, Amtrak is reducing service for interstate routes, which will affect the City of New Orleans route. Instead of running daily, beginning Oct. 1, it will operate three days a week.
“Due to the long-term impact of COVID-19 on ridership, Amtrak has made the decision to operate with reduced capacity through FY21,” Magliari said. “Our goal is to restore daily service on these routes as demand warrants, potentially by the summer of 2021.”
In fiscal 2019, ridership at the Illinois Terminal station was 180,427.