Whether or not cuts to Amtrak’s Hiawatha line in Illinois will affect service between Chicago and Milwaukee remains to be seen.
Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has proposed a $16 million reduction in support for Amtrak – from $42 million to $26 million – in the state’s 2016 budget, according to a story in the Milwaukee Business Journal.
While the Hiawatha line is just one route among many in Illinois that could be affected, any potential changes will almost certainly impact riders in Wisconsin, where support in the new budget remains unchanged at $6.8 million, the story continues. The Hiawatha is the only route the state subsidizes.
Amtrak noted 800,000 riders in 2014 on the Hiawatha and paid fares of $16.79 million.
The Illinois Department of Transportation hasn’t yet determined if any service cuts will result from Rauner’s proposed budget.
“The Illinois Department of Transportation continues working with the governor’s office on finding solutions to the serious fiscal problems facing the state,” IDOT spokesperson Guy Tridgell is quoted as writing in an email to the MBJ. “We will be working closely with our transportation stakeholders and customers as well to keep them informed as the budget process moves forward.”