It’s not a Quad Cities project, not an Iowa City project, but a project that will benefit all Iowa, passenger rail enthusiasts stressed while lobbying at the Capitol Monday.
“What we do know about passenger rail is that it would be a boon to the state of Iowa, the University of Iowa, the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, and most importantly, to the people of Iowa,” Sen. Matt McCoy, D-Des Moines, said during a panel discussion of plans to improve passenger rail service in Iowa.
Improving a rail corridor from Council Bluffs to the Quad Cities also would benefit freight rail service, creating a “safer more reliable transportation system,” McCoy said.
“For a state like Iowa that depends so heavily on exports and exporting our goods to market, this is such a critical link … not to mention the huge opportunity to relieve what is an already congested I-80 system,” McCoy said.
He and Sen. Joe Seng, D-Davenport, are urging the Legislature to take advantage of $87 million in federal funds to help develop the rail corridor. It would require an investment of about $3 million a year in the form of an operating subsidy.
That’s not an investment Gov. Terry Branstad is willing to make, his spokesman, Tim Albrecht, said.
What do you think of the plan? Would development of a passenger rail system benefit all of Iowa?