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University Relations

University of Central Missouri
Administration 302
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4640
Fax: 660-543-4943


Survey Indicates Passenger Rail a Critical Resource for UCM Students

Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (April 18, 2016) – Almost half have of the individuals who responded to a recent survey said they have taken Amtrak to/from school, more than two-thirds of those who have taken the train say passenger rail service is an important resource to attend school, and a strong majority of all respondents say they would ride more frequently if more frequent service was available. The survey was conducted at the University of Central Missouri by the Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission.

UCM is one of three four-year colleges and universities in Missouri, 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.

“These results are very encouraging; not only is there a solid ridership base today, but the survey shows enormous passenger growth potential could result from well-targeted marketing and education campaigns. That’s as good a ‘return on investment’ as we could hope to find,” says Missouri state Sen. David Pearce, chair of the MIPRC University Partnerships Committee, “We encourage states, schools and Amtrak to work over the summer break so they can begin tapping this market when fall terms begin.”

Among key results from UCM respondents:

 “UCM appreciates the opportunity to participate in the MIPRC survey.  We think it is important that students are aware of their transportation options, which include Amtrak. We hope the data provided by UCM will be helpful in assessing the value of rail transportation, and the best way to communicate that to those who may not be aware,” said UCM President Charles Ambrose. “This access to college comes in many different forms and the convenience provided to students by using Amtrak certainly makes UCM more accessible to them to meet their aspirations and dreams.”

UCM’s online survey was conducted between Nov. 12 and Dec. 23, 2015. It drew a total of 1,101 responses (not every respondent replied to every question). Of respondents who identified themselves, 70 percent are students, 16 percent are staff, and 14 percent are faculty. Of student respondents, 92 percent say they are full time.

Additionally, respondents across all 30 participating schools who said they had taken intercity passenger rail recently were invited to take a second survey about their most recent trip. A total of 1,597 did so. Highlights among their answers include:

The Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission is a nine-state interstate compact that promotes, coordinates and supports regional improvements to passenger rail service.