Recently, the local INDOT office held an open house.
NIPRA board member Geoff Paddock delivered a petition with over 200 signatures to the officials at INDOT.
News release from NIPRA:
Geoff Paddock to deliver signatures to INDOT
(April 11, 2011) – Geoff Paddock, a board member of the Northeast Indiana Passenger Rail Association, (NIPRA) delivered signatures collected in support of passenger rail service to the Indiana Department of Transportation today.
INDOT is hosting an open house and public input session in advance of drafting a statewide transportation and improvement plan. They are working on formulating long range transportation plans for the Hoosier state.
“Any long term plan to improve transportation in Indiana should include the return of passenger rail service to Fort Wayne,” said Geoff Paddock a board member of NIPRA. “From looking at this one petition, submitted by a few volunteers, it is apparent that area residents want to see Amtrak service in Fort Wayne and would ride the train,” Paddock said.
NIPRA has been working for three years to convince the state to include passenger rail service in future statewide transportation plans. NIPRA held two large rallies in support of rail service at the Baker Street Train Station in 2009 and 2010. Nearly 1,000 people attended each of the two rallies. Other volunteers have been calling, e mailing, and visiting with Legislators and collecting petitions.
Paddock will deliver about 150 signatures gathered over the past few days and submitted to him for this meeting. More petitions may be submitted at a later date. He said the return of Amtrak could add hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in economic activity to Fort Wayne and the surrounding area.
“Fort Wayne is one of the largest metropolitan areas in the country not served directly by passenger rail service. With gasoline prices rising to $4 a gallon again, there is strong demand for rail, and we hope INDOT will work with us on a plan to restore service in the near future,” Paddock said.
Webmaster’s note: The news release was edited to reflect the past, rather than the present as written.