Time Running Out to Fund Amtrak Line from Indy to Chicago
It appears the clock is ticking for Amtrak's Hoosier State Service between Indianapolis and Chicago.
Amtrak says it needs assurances of $3 million a year in state funding by October 16th to keep the line running. However, INDOT Spokesman Will Wingfield says much of INDOT's money is already allocated and they're asking localities like Indianapolis, Beech Grove, Crawfordsville, Lafayette, West Lafayette, Renssalaer and Dyer to pitch in. Amtrak serves those localities.
Wingfield says they're working on a short term contract to keep the service running. Amtrak says the line serves about 36,000 riders and generates just under $900,000 annually. Company officials add that track and service upgrades could boost ridership, but would require a significant multi-million investment every year.
Wingfield says funding will have to come from taxpayers to keep the line running. He adds any agreement would be between the state and Amtrak with financial assistance from localities.