INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Department of Transportation is seeking proposals to improve the Hoosier State, which operates between Indianapolis and Chicago four days per week.
The Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act ended federal support for certain Amtrak routes of less than 750 miles. In October, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence announced an agreement to keep the Hoosier State operating for one year in partnership with the cities of Indianapolis, Crawfordsville, Rensselaer, Lafayette, West Lafayette, Tippecanoe County and Beech Grove.
INDOT and the communities seek to improve the Hoosier State passenger experience, increase the number of passengers on the train and decrease train operating costs by opening the operation of the train to competition from private operators in addition to Amtrak. The Act allows states to contract with independent providers or Amtrak to operate the trains that they now help subsidize.
Operators may offer to take on all or some portion of the Hoosier State passenger rail service, including upkeep and maintenance of Indianapolis Union Station.
INDOT said no disruption in service is anticipated as a result of the RFP. Proposals are due April 29.