Hoosier State line

Crawfordsville mayor's office

One of the key components of public service is communicating with one’s constituency.

In an era of multifarious electronic media, that job can be seen as either easier – because there’s so many ways to do it – or harder, because it takes additional time to meet everyone where they live in cyberspace.

We address how this phenomenon affects Crawfordsville on this week’s Ask The Mayor.

We also chat with Crawfordsville Mayor Todd Barton about a recent speech he gave to young men in his town, asking them to learn not just in the classroom, but about life.

Lafayette Mayor's Office

There are finally some positive signs that the trains might keep running on time in Lafayette.

This week on Ask The Mayor, we’ll chat with Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski about the latest developments in the saga of keeping Amtrak service in the community and ask him about a sudden change of heart from Governor Pence.

Lafayette Mayor's Office

Cold weather conjures many seasonal thoughts in Lafayette: everything from buying holiday gifts to road work.

We address some of those topics on this week's Ask The Mayor with Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski, wherein we’ll also try to forecast the legislative session. Is there enough money in the budget for Lafayette – and does that money have strings for city officials?

Also in the first month of the legislative session, the state hits a deadline to decide if it’s going to keep Amtrak service running through Lafayette.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Amtrak could maintain operations of the passenger rail line from Indianapolis to Chicago after negotiations broke down this weekend between the Indiana Department of Transportation and prospective operator Corridor Capital.

Amtrak has a contract to provide daily service on the Hoosier State Line through Jan. 31. INDOT was looking to Corridor Capital to take over after that in hopes it could improve service on the line, which has consistently operated in the red.

James Britton / https://www.flickr.com/photos/jbritton/2830693569

Ridership on the Hoosier State Rail Line dropped nearly eight-percent over the last year, while ticket revenues declined more than ten-percent.

Ridership on Amtrak lines across the country rose in the last fiscal year, which ended in September.  But on the Hoosier State Line, which runs from Chicago to Indianapolis, ridership fell by nearly 3,000 people, down to just less than 34,000. 

And ticket revenues dropped nearly $100,000, settling at a little more than $800,000 last year. 

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Amtrak executives embarked on a whistle-stop campaign from Indianapolis to Chicago Wednesday, pushing for the state to fund the Hoosier State rail line and pushing the state’s preferred operator, Corridor Capital, to be more communicative.

Courtesy Crawfordsville Mayor's Office

Some questions for Mayor Barton this month:

You weren’t optimistic last month about the future of Amtrak service, in part because several cities along the line didn’t intend to pay. In that time, both Indianapolis and Beech Grove have agreed to pay through the end of January. To what do you attribute that?

City of West Lafayette

Some questions for the mayor on this month's program:

Since we spoke last month, it seems the mayors of the cities along the Amtrak corridor from Indy to Chicago have gotten noticeably more pessimistic about its future. Todd Barton told me two weeks ago on this program he thinks it’s dead in October. Is that now your thinking, too?

Your office is moving, at least temporarily, to Morton Center. Are you doing a site comparison between there and the mold-ridden city hall?

James Britton / https://www.flickr.com/photos/jbritton/2830693569

Governor Mike Pence is noncommittal on whether Indiana will support the future of the Hoosier State Passenger Rail Line with state dollars.  Speaking to reporters Thursday, Pence shifted responsibility to local communities along the line that runs between Chicago and Indianapolis.

Federal funding for the Hoosier State Line was cut off last year.  The state and local communities along the line reached a temporary funding agreement that keeps the route running through October. 

Courtesy Crawfordsville Mayor's Office

Crawfordsville’s mayor says he believes Amtrak’s Hoosier State rail line will cease operation in October unless the state – not just the cities along the route – kicks in more money.

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