The U.S. Department of Transportation is sending more passenger rail funds to Iowa, but the governor-elect has not yet decided on whether he will go ahead with the plans. Dave Roederer leads Terry Branstad’s transition team and says the new administration is studying how much it will cost the state to maintain and subsidize the passenger rail service between Chicago and Iowa City.
“It’s my understanding, that if every seat in the train is full at all times we need to subsidize that at a tune of three million dollars. So every time there’s vacant seats those subsidies will go up,” Roederer says. Roederer says the new administration is concerned about losing federal funds in the future.
“If in fact the federal government ever decides that they’re going to try to balance their budget, that’s going to have, obviously a ripple effect, so we want to make sure that we are prepared if that occurs,” Roederer says. The extra federal passenger rail funds are funds that were rejected by Ohio and Wisconsin after the federal government turned down their request to use the funds for other transportation needs.