INDOT Asks For Bidders On Amtrak Regional Service
April 2, 2014 — Indiana Public Broadcasting — The Indiana Department of Transportation is allowing companies to compete for the passenger rail service from Indianapolis to Chicago. Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Gretchen Frazee reports that Amtrak currently operates the line but it runs on a steep deficit…
Congress cut off $3 million in funding for the Hoosier State line last year—prompting INDOT and cities along the line to step in with a promise to subsidize the line for another year.
Now, INDOT is looking for other long-term options. Amtrak operates the line now, but INDOT spokesman Will Wingfield says the state is asking other companies to submit proposals for how they would run part or all of the line.
“We’re opening this up to competition so that we can make sure taxpayers are getting the best value for their dollars and the service is being operated at the lowest possible cost.”
An Amtrak spokesman says officials there are aware of INDOT’s plans but they have no comment.
The Hoosier State line has the fewest riders of any Amtrak line—with less than 37 thousand rides last year.