Texas DOT targeting new Heartland Flyer operator

August 5, 2014

The Texas Department of Transportation, faced with higher operating costs from Amtrak, may be looking for a new operator for the Heartland Flyer. It’s a new twist in Wichita’s efforts to bring passenger rail service back to the city.

The request comes on the heels of a probable $1 million per year hike in operating costs by Amtrak, according to an e-mail from Texas Rail Advocates – from $2.1 million a year to $3.1 million a year, with other hikes to near $4 million possible.

So TDOT has posted a request for information, a preliminary information-gathering step in conjunction with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation… [A]ccording to Evan Stair, president of Passenger Rail Oklahoma, “Lower cost, higher service standard operators do exist… Earlier this year, Corridor Capital LLC [of] Chicago was selected over Amtrak to operate the Chicago[-Indianapolis] Hoosier State [which] had been 100 percent federally funded prior to last year when Amtrak began requiring state supplemental payments. Corridor Capital LLC was selected over Amtrak by the Indiana Department of Transportation…”

Read the rest of the story in the Wichita Business Journal, 5 August 2014.

 

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