Indy-Chicago Amtrak One More Year
October 15, 2013 — The Hoosier State passenger rail line will keep running for another year after a state agreement today with Amtrak just hours before funding was scheduled to expire.
Congress decided in 2008 to cut off federal funding for passenger lines in more than a dozen states. Funding for the Hoosier State line, which runs between Indianapolis and Chicago, was set to end Wednesday.
But the state, along with officials in several local communities along the line, reached a one-year agreement with Amtrak worth more than $2.5-million dollars to continue operations. More than half of the money will come from communities that include Lafayette, Indianapolis and Rensselaer.
Indiana Department of Transportation spokesman Will Wingfield says it’s a short-term agreement that will give the state time to gather more information as it contemplates long-term solutions, “Making sure that, you know, it’s not just funding from the legislature; it’s also making improvements to the service in a way that will attract additional ridership and therefore revenue.”
A legislative panel will meet Wednesday to discuss passenger rail funding.
By Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Brandon Smith.