Louisiana lawmaker seeks funds toward Amtrak route along I-20 corridor
“I was concerned about North Louisiana because the money was taken out of the budget”
SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — Louisiana state Sen. Greg Tarver has made a proposal to the state Senate to get $10 million allocated for Northwest Louisiana to go toward the Amtrak passenger rail route that would follow the I-20 corridor between Dallas and Atlanta.
“The funds were taken out in the House (of Representatives) and were put back in the Senate; and money was also put in New Orleans from Baton Rouge to New Orleans for the project,” Tarver explained. “I was concerned about North Louisiana because the money was taken out of the budget.”
Dinero Washington, chief executive officer for SporTran, explained why it’s important that Tarver did it.
“The $12.5 million was eliminated out of the House budget for the northern section of the line. The governor included $12.5 million for our line. But one of the things Sen. Tarver did was ask for $10 million to reinstate funding that had been eliminated within the House budget.”
Washington said if the proposal is passed, it shows the state is backing the idea of a railway to travel through the ArkLaTex.
“When the money was removed, that raised questions on all levels. Is the state committed? And we spoke with Sen. Tarver to make sure this process goes forward.”
But there are still some routes it must take.
“Of course, the budget has not passed the complete Senate and House yet. But it’s on the floor in the Senate by Wednesday, and I don’t see any problems. It should pass very easy in the Senate,” Tarver predicted.
Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins said this is important for the area.
“Having an Amtrak route go through North Louisiana is a big win for our community. I applaud our state lawmakers for continuing to invest in this project and helping move it forward.
“I recently met with staff from the U.S. Department of Transportation and Mitch Landrieu in Washington, D.C., to discuss federal support,” he continued. “With the help of our local, state and national lawmakers, this project has the potential to make a transformational change in Shreveport and the surrounding communities and drive economic growth in our city.”
Following is the final report of a related study released in 2015:
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