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Chicago – St. Louis passenger rail ridership and revenue forecasts

Illinois Department of Transportation

ridership and revenue, forecasting, Chicago passenger rail, St. Louis passenger rail, rail corridor

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) is considering several infrastructure and systems improvements to the Chicago – St. Louis Amtrak rail alignment that would improve the speed and capacity of travel on the corridor.

Improvements under consideration include construction of a second main track; rehabilitation of the existing mainline; and installation or upgrading of train signaling systems.

Our role

Steer Davies Gleave will be developing ridership forecasts for the Tier 1 NEPA document that IDOT is currently preparing for passenger rail service improvements on this corridor.

How we did it

This study will use our existing well-tested rail/HSR forecasting methodology to predict the probability that travelers will divert to improved rail/HSR from conventional modes such as auto and air, as a function of the modes’ service attributes and traveler characteristics. The model has proven its robustness and reasonableness across applications to many rail/HSR corridors in the US.

Components of the study include:

  • Establishing the current pattern of inter-urban tripmaking in the corridor, with data collection including analysis of anonymized traveler movements obtained from cell phone use within the corridor.
  • Predicting the effects on inter-urban mode splits of improving Amtrak service in the corridor.
  • Ridership forecasts for the improved rail system, which will consist of both diverted trips and induced trips, which formerly were not made, but which are caused to be made as a result of the improved passenger rail service.
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