Lawmakers consider east-west routes for Amtrak

By Kelsey Gibbs |

Published 04/09 2014 12:10PM

Updated 04/09 2014 12:15PM

ILLINOIS -- Amtrak could add more destinations in Central Illinois. This time, the stops would be east and west. WCIA-3's Kelsey Gibbs has details.

If lawmakers have it their way, Amtrak could be rolling out more routes.

"To Peoria to Bloomington. Normal to Champaign-Urbana to Danville, with the benefits that are multiple."

Representative Don Moffitt (R) is proposing a bill to add more stops to Amtrak railroads, specifically in areas with colleges and universities.

"There's over fourteen state colleges and universities that will make it much easier to get by passenger rail."

Moffitt says many students rely heavily on public transportation and extending the corridors will help.

"It becomes access education. It makes it much easier for the students of Illinois to access our institutions of higher education."

But, not just educational opportunities. This bill will add jobs and more.

"We reduce highway congestion. We improve the environment. We're opening up more opportunities for education."

Colleges are also on board.

"I've heard from a lot of our college presidents and administrators that this will be a big help to them in recruitment and just makes it easier for students to get to their campuses."

The proposal now heads to the Senate for consideration. Moffitt says it will be a multi-year project. The first phase would connect the Quad Cities to Galesburg, then continue east to Danville.

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