10,000 miles of observations on why Winona, Minnesota needs its Amtrak agent

October 12, 2015

While traveling approximately 10,000 miles on Amtrak since March 2015, I’ve made first-hand observations about train travel and the specific needs of the people it serves.Website Insert Perfect Answer copy

The Winona Amtrak station is in the process of losing its ticket agent and the services he provides. This is a plea to Amtrak to not balance its budget on the backs of those who can least handle the cuts.

Who rides Amtrak?

To put real faces on the 20,000 Winona riders for which the financial accountants at Amtrak propose a cut in services, I’ll draw some fast observations. Many Amtrak passengers are probably not the same crowd as those who regularly us an airplane to travel long distances. Many Amtrak riders boarding in Winona are low-income, traveling either alone or at times with several small children. Because of Rochester’s Mayo Clinic, many are patients with obvious medical disabilities and are traveling with a caregiver, along with checked luggage, destined for either west or east locations several hundred miles from Winona.

There are grandparents, college students, many large, extended Amish families, and people like me who love the adventure of either riding in seats bigger than your average recliner at home or going first class in your own living/bedroom compartment.

Why does Winona desperately need a ticket agent and the services they can provide?

Read writer Jeanne Nelson’s full commentary in the Winona Daily News by clicking here.


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