Improving the connection: Work ongoing to enhance Amtrak service from Milwaukee to Chicago

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Joe Daufenbach is among a growing number of people who are choosing the train to get to and from Chicago. State and business leaders point out that the Hiawatha creates an important economic link between the two metro areas.

[Below is a summary of the BizTimes article]

Joe Daufenbach was sitting in the Milwaukee Intermodal Station on a sunny and humid Monday morning, waiting for the Amtrak Hiawatha train to arrive.

He, like many of the passengers there that morning and every weekday morning, relies on the rail service to commute to and from work in Chicago.

Daufenbach, a Bayside resident who works at real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield’s Chicago office, said he mostly works remotely, but he does take the Hiawatha to Chicago about once a month for face-to-face meetings. He chooses to take the train because he doesn’t have to sit in traffic and he can work during the commute.

Daufenbach is among a growing number of people who are choosing the train to get to and from Chicago. State and business leaders point out that the Hiawatha creates an important economic link between the two metro areas.

“We’re part of the Chicago megaregion, which is one of the 10 largest economic regions in the country,” Tim Sheehy, president of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce, said at a recent news conference. “And to put it simply, commerce is about connections, and this train helps us connect to Chicago in a more frequent, more effective way.”

Joel Brennan, secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Administration, said that more than 40% of trips on the Hiawatha are business related, and 60% of those people taking the Hiawatha for business are making daily round trips.

Read the full article here.

Gary Ricke