The chief executive officer of the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority believes the Regional Cities initiative could lead to a funding gap for a long-awaited project. Bill Hanna says a new bill would require the RDA to compete with similar groups for funding for projects like the $571 million South Shore commuter rail extension. He says the project already has commitments from 16 northwest Indiana communities. During a Studio (i) interview that will air on this weekend's edition of Inside INdiana Business Television, Hanna describes the benefits of expanding rail between the region and Chicago. Hanna says a study suggests the extension would add new riders and nearly $150 million to Indiana economy.

He calls the expanded transit line a gateway into the country's third largest economy. Hanna says Indiana communities in the Chicago metropolitan area are losing out on potential economic development deals because Illinois suburbs have public transit options Indiana doesn't, even with higher taxes and cost of living.

Source: Inside INdiana Business

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