Amtrak restores more services for Milwaukee, Chicago round trips
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- There are now more routes available for Amtrak riders to and from Chicago as the company begins restoring routes Monday, June 29 after stopping most during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Amtrak was down to one round trip per day, but now they are starting four round trips on weekdays and three round trips on weekends, while taking safety precautions.
Natasha Patterson and her boys were among the first riders to take one of the newly restored Amtrak rouets.
"We have Lysol wipes. I have hand sanitizer. About five different bottles of hand sanitizer,” Natasha Patterson said.
Patterson went even further to ensure the safety of her family.
“I’m going to pay the extra additional money to get a room instead of being out in the open with everybody else, which I didn’t want to do because it’s a little more money but just to be on the safer side,” Patterson said.
Amtrak spokesperson, Marc Magliari, said they thought this was a good time to restore more services for riders.
"The ridership has been ticking up a little bit since we’ve started off with the one round trip at the beginning of the month. It’s going to be a while before we get to the seven round trips, but we want to be there when people are ready to travel,” Magliari said.
Magliari says masks are required for riders and staff and they have installed new engineered leather seating that will make cleaning easier, and he says social distancing will be key.
"We want to make sure people are comfortable on the trains. We’re spacing them around the train so a train is never more than half full,” Magliari said.
Amtrak rider, John Hernandez, said he's happy about the safety precautions but says riders still need to do their part to stay safe while riding.
"It allows some space between passengers, but even the passengers need to take precautions so... don't let your guard down," Hernandez said.
Amtrak says if riders don't have a weekly or monthly pass, they need to reserve tickets online to ensure the trains have 50 percent capacity or less.