More People Expected to Travel by Train this Summer - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

More People Expected to Travel by Train this Summer

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PASCO, Wash. - Before canceling that summer vacation because of rising gas prices, give trains a try.

The American Public Transportation Association reports a 10% increase in train riders, calculating 110 million trips nationwide in just the first quarter of the year.  Representatives credit the increase to soaring gas prices pushing people to find other ways of transportation. 

Transit operators like Amtrak expect numbers to continue to go up for the second quarter as gas prices climb.  To attract more riders this summer, Amtrak is beginning to put in some new special features on their trains.  They're beginning to put in daily wine tasting on board,  a specialty coffee bar, theater systems with 50 inch plasma high definition monitors.   They're even adding new arcade rooms for the kids and adults if they want to play a video game or two along the way. 

According to the U.S. census, only about 5% of people use the trains regularly, and only about 20% of households have easy access to a public train station.