|Last week a special train operated between Indianapolis and Lafayette. Elected officials and stakeholders from local communities the train to celebrate the new Hoosier State service. There is plenty to celebrate with ticket revenues for the service up 20 percent, customer satisfaction at 90 percent and on-time performance improving.
It is clear that the Save The Hoosier State effort has re-energized local leaders across Indiana in support of enhancing service. Many of them took the opportunity on Thursday to express their backing for continued improvements to the route. With the public-private partnership between Amtrak, INDOT and Iowa Pacific creating stability along the corridor, now is the time to make the investments that would lead to faster and more frequent service.
The Chicago-Indianapolis Corridor connects two of the largest cities in the Midwest and is vital to the communities it serves. It is also a key segment of the statewide network and has the potential to grow substantially. In order to meet the demands of the market, service with 12 trains/day and travel times below 3 ½ hours are necessary.
This level of service will require improvements to the existing infrastructure. For this to happen, INDOT needs to take a leading role by requesting capital cost estimates for faster and more frequent service. We are excited to see the support for the Hoosier State Corridor continue to grow and will continue to work hard to keep the public and elected officials informed about the benefits of faster and more frequent service.