Ridership drop another blow for Indiana rail line

Democratic U.S. Rep. Andre Carson, second from right,boards an Amtrak train at Union Station in Indianapolis on Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014, following Amtrak CEO Joe Boardman's announcement that the passenger train service will add free Wi-Fi, modest food service and business-class seating to the Hoosier State passenger line that runs four days a week between Indianapolis and Chicago. The line lost its federal funding last year under legislation Congress passed in 2008. Indiana is negotiating with a private vendor that wants to operate the line. (AP Photo/Rick Callahan)

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Indiana’s effort to keep Amtrak service to Chicago running beyond January faces a new challenge amid dwindling revenue and ridership.

Amtrak announced Monday that ridership and revenue were up nationally during the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. But the Hoosier State line that runs from Indianapolis to Chicago saw a 10 percent decline in revenue and a nearly 8 percent drop in ridership.

The Journal & Courier reports the Indiana Department of Transportation and seven local partners agreed to pay Amtrak a $2.7 million subsidy to keep the Hoosier State line running for one year last October. They are funding the line through Jan. 31 under a four-month extension.

A private contractor is supposed to take over management in January, but no deal has been finalized.

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Information from: Journal and Courier, http://www.jconline.com

 

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