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The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) this week announced that the Amtrak Hiawatha service now offers a variable ticket pricing system. The $25 ticket has been replaced with a sliding $19 to $31 fare based on demand and an advance purchase.
The Hiawatha — which offers seven round trips on weekdays between Milwaukee and Chicago — is one of the most popular passenger train routes in the country, WisDOT officials said in a news release.
"The new fare system works toward three main goals by offering a price that varies with demand," said WisDOT Secretary Craig Thompson. "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 offers a 10-ride ticket with a new maximum price of $210, effectively lowering fares to $21 each way, according to WisDOT. Users of those tickets still must use the RideReserve system to choose their train.