By DOUG WILSON
Herald-Whig Senior Writer
Amtrak is offering 20 percent discounts on several Midwestern trains through March 31 in an effort to boost business during a slower travel season.
"This is a time of year when people might be tightly budgeted after spending money during the holidays. Our discounted fares give people a chance to get away from the snow and avoid cabin fever," said Marc Magliari of Amtrak media relations.
Seasonal discounts offered last year were popular with riders and helped keep passenger numbers up.
One-way tickets on the Illinois Zephyr and Carl Sandburg lines that run between Quincy and Chicago show qualifying one-way adult tickets for $21.60.
Some blackout dates apply and purchase requirements are shown on Amtrak's web site www.amtrak.com under the "Deals" tab.
Ticket information also is available by phone at 800-USA-RAIL.
Discounts also are being offered on routes between Chicago and Michigan, and the Missouri River Runner between Kansas City and St. Louis.
Ridership on the Illinois Zephyr and the Carl Sandburg trains totaled 232,592 during Amtrak's 2012 fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30. Ridership along the Quincy to Chicago corridor was up 3.9 percent from the previous year.
Nationally, Amtrak handled 31.2 million passengers in fiscal 2012, up more than 1 million from the previous year.