The Indiana Department of Transportation believe as an agreement in principle to fund a passenger rail route between Indianapolis and Chicago lays the groundwork for a long-term deal. State and local officials have a package to support the Hoosier State Line for one year, with another four month option. Federal funding for the route was set to dry up this week. October 15, 2013
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Governor Mike Pence announces that the state has reached an agreement in principle with Amtrak and local communities to keep the Hoosier State passenger rail service operating between Indianapolis and Chicago.
Once agreements are signed and executed by all parties, monthly payments will renew the existing service for one year with an option for an additional four months. Indianapolis, Crawfordsville, Rensselaer, Lafayette, West Lafayette, Tippecanoe County and Beech Grove are partnering with the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) to fund the service.
“I am pleased that the State of Indiana, in partnership with local communities, was able to reach an agreement with Amtrak to keep the Hoosier State line operating over the next year,” said Governor Mike Pence. “This agreement will make Hoosier jobs more secure and preserve an important transportation link for Indiana. I am grateful for the leadership of the Indiana Department of Transportation and the generous support of many of the communities with stops along the Hoosier State line.”
“At the Governor's direction, the agreement allows state and local partners to monitor ridership and explore service improvements to ensure long-term viability,” said INDOT Commissioner Karl Browning. “The communities that are contributing funding will have a vested interest in improving performance and ensuring accountability for the tax dollars being invested.”
Congress voted in 2008 to end federal support for Amtrak routes of less than 750 miles, which includes the Hoosier State service four days per week between Indianapolis and Chicago. Amtrak’s long-distance Cardinal service will continue to be federally supported the remaining three days per week between Cincinnati and Chicago via Indianapolis.
More information about the Amtrak Hoosier State service, including a cost-benefit analysis of schedule and frequency options, is available at www.in.gov/indot/3200.htm.