Nearly 60 percent of Lawrence Technological University students say they would be more likely to take a train between home and school if more frequent service was available, according to a new survey of LTU students conducted by the Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission.
The survey of 423 LTU students found that 11 percent have used Amtrak to get from home to school and back in the past.
Lawrence Tech was one of seven four-year colleges and universities in Michigan, and 30 across nine Midwestern states, to participate in this survey. It aims to assess the importance of intercity passenger rail service among college and university students, faculty and staff whose schools are located along current Amtrak routes and help determine what schools, states and the region can do to boost passenger rail service.
Amtrak’s Royal Oak station is about six miles east of LTU’s campus. It is served by three trains daily to and from Chicago. From Chicago, students can board trains serving much of the nation.
“The survey’s encouraging findings are a good first step,” says Tim Hoeffner, MIPRC’s chair and director of the Office of Rail at the Michigan Department of Transportation. “We look forward to working with our partner states, Amtrak and schools in highlighting the advantages of passenger rail for what is clearly a growth market.”
All of Michigan’s intercity passenger rail services are financed primarily by the state of Michigan.
Among results from Lawrence Tech respondents:
The online survey was conducted between Nov. 18 and Dec. 9, 2015. Of respondents who identified themselves, 98 percent are students, 1 percent is staff, and 1 percent is faculty. Of student respondents, 88 percent say they are full time.
The Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission is a nine-state interstate compact that promotes, coordinates and supports regional improvements to passenger rail service. More at www.miprc.org.