Amtrak's Cascades trains, which serve the rail corridor from Vancouver, B.C., to Eugene, Ore., including the stop in Lacey, saw record ridership last year, the Washington Department of Transportation reports.
In 2010, 838,251 passengers rode the Cascades trains. That’s a 10 percent increase over 2009. Eight of the 12 months last year set new monthly ridership records.
A second daily train from Seattle to Vancouver, B.C., helped increase ridership. That train was nearly discontinued last fall when the Canadian government insisted that Amtrak pay for additional customs agents to meet the train’s late evening arrival. Those fees, however, were waived through October this year.
Five daily Cascades trains connect Tacoma to Seattle and Portland.
The state subsidizes the Cascades operation. It expects to spend $782 million to improve the track in the next few years to cut travel times and allow more service. That money is coming from the federal government.