Variable pricing to help balance seat availability, meet funding goals and encourage usage
Release date: November 1, 2023
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation announced today that the Amtrak Hiawatha Service now offers a variable ticket pricing system that replaces the $25 ticket with a sliding $19 to $31 fare based on demand and advance purchase.
“The Hiawatha Service offers seven round trips weekdays between Milwaukee and Chicago and is one of the most popular passenger train routes in the country,” WisDOT Secretary Craig Thompson said. “The new fare system works toward three main goals by offering a price that varies with demand. First, it aims to ease crowding by offering lower cost tickets during off-peak times. Second, it is expected to raise revenue overall to cover more system costs and service improvements. And third, it keeps our commitment to affordable travel by capping the maximum fare at $31 each way.”
Amtrak also has the money-saving 10-ride ticket, with a new maximum price of $210, effectively lowering fares to $21 each way. Users of the 10-ride tickets continue to be required to use the RideReserve system to choose their train. While monthly pass sales have been discontinued due to decreased usage, one-way and 10-ride tickets both are still eligible for pre-tax purchase by transit benefit account holders.
The new fare schedule takes effect today, Wednesday, November 1. The $25 fare had been in effect since 2016.
Hiawatha customers are seeing the results of Wisconsin’s most recent investments in the service. In partnership with Illinois, Amtrak has routinely been assigning newly delivered railcars on Hiawatha trains with wider aisles, more accessibility, better lighting, both USB and 110V charging ports, improved Wi-Fi, quieter interiors, larger windows and smoother rides. Deliveries of these new U.S.-built trains will continue in 2024. Construction is also underway to increase capacity at the Milwaukee Airport Rail Station.
For more fare and schedule information, please visit AmtrakHiawatha.com, which is also a gateway to buy tickets on Amtrak.com. Tickets can be purchased at staffed Amtrak ticket windows in Milwaukee and Chicago, the ticketing kiosks in Chicago and both the Milwaukee Intermodal downtown and Milwaukee Airport stations, the Amtrak apps or by calling 800-USA-RAIL.
For more information, contact:
WisDOT Office of Public Affairs