Iowa May Reject Fed HSR Funding

Sounding very much like the new OH and WI Republican governors, a key state Republican legislator wants to avoid the ongoing state subsidy for Iowa City to Chicago trains. At stake is $230 million in a Federal rail grant to build 110 mph trains.

Illinois and Iowa, under their prior governments (before the Nov. 4, 2010 elections) had requested $310 million from the Federal Railroad Administration for the project - FRA came through with $230 million. Iowa need only fund $10 million of the remainder - but they appear to be balking.

"The Republican-sponsored budget package would not provide any state money needed to establish and subsidize operations for the route, almost certainly forcing the Iowa Department of Transportation to return a federal grant of $81.4 million already awarded for the passenger train project.

Gov.-elect Terry Branstad (inauguration is Jan. 13) continues to study the feasibility of the Iowa City train project and hasn't made a decision yet on state funding, a Branstad spokesman said." [Planetizen noted that that he appeared to be an Amtrak supporter on Nov. 5: "Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad may very well utilize the $230 million award announced by D.O.T. on Oct. 28 for improved Amtrak service between Chicago and Iowa City as it was intended".]

However, Illinois remains committed to the project and would fund the line to the Quad Cities. It is unclear how much of the $230 million would be forfeited due to the two-state nature of the grant.

Thanks to Streetsblog San Francisco

Full Story: State Republican budget could halt proposed passenger trains

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month
City Plate table setting

New Arrival! City Plates

City downtown cores printed on gorgeous decorative collectible porcelain plates.
$50.00
Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 2012

Thinking about Grad School?

You need the essential resource for prospective planning students
Starting at $24.95