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Transportation and Infrastructure

Statehouse 'Transit Day' Addresses Possible Loss Of Hoosier State Line

James Britton

An end to service on the Hoosier State passenger rail line could throw a wrench into public transportation advocates’ hopes for a funding increase in the state budget. 

Transit advocates Tuesday used a day they'd been planning for weeks to highlight the problems that could wreak on the affected communities.

The House Republican budget proposal included a $6.4 million dollar in public transit funding -- $6 million of which was meant for the Hoosier State Rail Line. 

Yet Senate budget architect Luke Kenley (R-Noblesville) says the loss of the rail service won’t necessarily mean a loss for transit funding.

“I think we still need to look at that number and see if we think we can afford to raise that number because as you point out it hasn’t been raised for a while," Kenley says.  "So we’ll see what we can do on that front.”

Representative Randy Truitt (R-West Lafayette) says he’s going to remind lawmakers that the Hoosier State Line could return if federal officials change their minds.  But he acknowledges that the service’s uncertain future creates issues.

“The Hoosier State’s probably going to throw a bit of a wrinkle in some way, shape, or form.  It’s either going to allow more of an increase or it could be used maybe as an obstacle.  I’m working right now to try to remove the obstacle,” Truitt says.

Truitt says he’s working with Indiana’s Congressional delegation to urge the Obama administration to change its decision.