A member of the Illinois General Assmbly from the Quad Cities wants to help expand passenger rail service in this part of the country. State Representative Mike Halpin from Rock Island has just been appointed to the Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission.
Nine states currently belong to the commission, which focuses on long-term policy planning. And even at a time of limited state and federal budgets, Halpin thinks it's important to explore alternatives.
"It's certainly a challenge but actual ridership on Amtrak is up in the midwest and people are starting to realize its benefits as a mode of tourism, as a mode of getting back and forth to college, and as a cost effective way and reliable way to get where they need to go. "
Halpin says the Quad Cities is a key location for passenger rail service, and he wants the midwest to have as many options as possible.
Members of the Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission represent the legislatures, governors, and the private sector. And they come from Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Wisconsin.