U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) urged Amtrak officials to reconsider cutting ticket agent jobs at Amtrak’s Havre and Shelby stations and to take action to ensure the transportation needs of rural Montanans are met, including adding a stop in Culbertson.
Daines made the remarks during a hearing in the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee meeting on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies.
“The Empire Builder is critically important to keeping our rural communities connected, transporting out-of-state visitors to some of Montana’s pristine landscapes and supporting local economies,” said Daines in a press release. “Amtrak must take action to ensure the needs of Montanans and rural travelers are met.”
During the hearing, Daines expressed his concern regarding the loss of ticketing agent jobs at the Havre and Shelby stations and asked Stephen Gardner, the Executive Vice President of Amtrak, what actions Amtrak could take to support the local communities.
Gardner told Daines that Amtrak remains supportive of adding a stop at Culbertson once station infrastructure is in place.
(MAY 7, 2018) Two people will be out of a job with Amtrak on June 1, according to the Havre Daily News.
The National Passenger Rail Corp. told them they are eliminating the Amtrak-staffed ticket office.
According to the Havre Daily News, Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said almost all tickets — more than 9 out of 10 — are now bought online or using Amtrak’s telephone ticket sale service, so the passenger rail service is eliminating some ticket offices.
He said people will still be able to buy tickets at the train, but that will eliminate getting any kind of deal such as through early booking. If space is available on the train, people can buy a ticket but paying in cash while boarding ensures they will pay the highest possible fare, he said.
You can read more at the Havre Daily News website.
MTN News has not yet been able to confirm reports that the ticket counter at the Shelby station will also be closed; we will update you when we get more information.
We have tried contacting the mayor of Havre for comment, but have not heard back.