Portland, ME – March 6, 2015 – “It is a sad day when the federal agency which administers federal funding for Amtrak, and who has played such a critical role in providing grants to States to help develop and improve intercity passenger rail services, also is determined to require States and intercity passenger service sponsors who contract with Amtrak to become railroads” observed Patricia Quinn, Chair of the States for Passenger Rail Coalition, Inc. (S4PRC) and Executive Director of the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority (NNEPRA).
Quinn’s observation came on the heels of a decision, announced today by the Indiana Department of Transportation, to no longer sponsor the Hoosier State intercity passenger rail service after April 1. The train operates between Indianapolis, Indiana with Chicago, Illinois.
The S4PRC strongly supports Indiana Transportation Commissioner Karl Browning who stated in the announcement “Passenger rail providers and the host railroads are already required to comply with FRA rules. Requiring a redundant layer of bureaucracy would not create improvements in passenger rail service or safety, it would only increase taxpayer costs.”
“We admire the leadership of INDOT and the communities served by the Hoosier State for investing their time and resources to provide intercity passenger rail service for their citizens, and we trust that in due course that this conflict between the federal and State governments can be worked out,” Ms. Quinn stated.
The States for Passenger Rail Coalition, Inc. (SPRC) is comprised of twenty-three state departments of transportation and two regional authorities who are responsible for state corridor intercity passenger rail services. In 2014 nearly half (48%) of America’s intercity rail passengers traveled aboard SPRC-sponsored trains.