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Ft. Madison Amtrak customers want to keep ticket agent, advocate says

Amtrak made an announcement earlier this month, that it would be closing ticket offices in Fort Madison, and Ottumwa...for good/KTVO

Amtrak is scheduled to hear the public's concerns Tuesday about its recent decision to close Fort Madison's ticket office.

Amtrak made an announcement earlier this month, that it would be closing ticket offices in Fort Madison, and Ottumwa...for good.

Customers are now being asked to reserve a seat by phone or online.

This week, Fort Madison community members are asking the corporation to reconsider.

Retired locomotive engineer, Jeff Kurtz, who is also running for a seat in Iowa House District 83, said St. Rep. Jerry Kearns and Sen. Rich Taylor recently asked him to join the conversation because of his experience in the industry.

He said Fort Madison’s Amtrak station has several elderly clients who prefer making a reservation the old fashioned way.

"We have a lot of people who use Amtrak in Ft. Madison that are not up on technology,” Kurtz said. “I know our people would rather deal with a real person..."

An Amtrak spokesperson told KTVO earlier this month, that Ottumwa and Fort Madison were the only two stations in the region that still operated with a ticket office. Stations in Quincy, Mount Pleasant and Burlington are not currently staffed.

Tuesday's meeting starts at 2 p.m. at the Old Fort Players Theater on Ave G in Fort Madison.

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