Indiana to seek competitive proposals on improving Hoosier State rail service

December 21, 2013

The Lafayette, Indiana Journal and Courier reports that Indiana will consider competitive bids from private operators on the Hoosier State passenger train between Indianapolis and Chicago:

The state announced Friday that it has hired R.L. Banks & Associates Inc. to develop a request for proposals from companies interested in operating, marketing or improving services on the line to increase ridership and decrease operating expenses for taxpayers…Indiana, Lafayette, West Lafayette, Tippecanoe County and other communities served by the line agreed in October to pick up the $2.7 million annual cost of running the four-day-a-week train [the Cardinal operates the other three days] after the federal government stopped funding Amtrak routes shorter than 750 miles…

State and local leaders settled on a one-year cost-sharing agreement, based on the stipulation that all parties involved would spend 12 to 15 months finding ways to run trains at times that would draw more riders, and generate more revenue…

Local elected leaders learned about the plan to seek proposals during a conference call with INDOT Tuesday, said Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski and Tippecanoe County Commissioner Tom Murtaugh.

Rest of the story at jconline.com, 20 December 2013.

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