LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - "I think beyond a shadow of doubt have proven that in this community and the communities that are currently on the Hoosier State route are very encouraged by the governor's actions and that that route is very important to us," West Lafayette mayor John Dennis said about the decision to keep the line open.
So important local communities will be paying about half of the $223,000 a month needed to keep the Amtrak line open for one year.
"The city of West Lafayette will be basically responsible for $200,000 over a 12 month period, which equates to a little over $16,000 a month," Dennis said.
The amount each community invests in the line depends on ridership. Tippecanoe County will pay $25,000 a month while smaller communities like Rensselaer will be paying an amount significantly less.
"We have the smallest ridership out of all the cities and towns along the Hoosier State Line route," Rennselaer mayor Stephen Wood said. "Ours is set at $1,500 a month. It's by a month by month agreement with INDOT."
Many community leaders along the route said in order to make their investment a success the service between Chicago and Indianapolis needs to improve.
"I think there's room for improvement. I think we need to increase the ridership. We need to have better scheduling. It needs to be on time more. I think these are all going to play a factor into what eventually happens to Amtrak," Wood said.
"We want to make sure that the routes are more timely," Dennis said. "We would love to ensure that experience is better either by having service on the cars or possibly even adding bike racks or something to that effect."
Dennis said he hopes riders will notice a difference in the service throughout the next year thanks to the investments from a number of communities.
"We feel that year timeline would allow for us to hopefully have enough subject of input to improve the service and to also encourage them to do things on their own, specifically Amtrak, such as marketing and making sure that people are aware that the service exists as well as it's a quality ride to Chicago," Dennis said.
An INDOT spokesperson said financial details have not been finalized yet.
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