Greater Louisville is one step closer to bringing back passenger rail service. Kentuckiana Regional Planning and Development Agency (KIPDA) announced that the agency’s bid in securing a grant from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) was successful. GLI partnered with KIPDA and Louisville Metro to submit the application earlier this year.
This FRA grant will be used to assess the viability of re-establishing passenger rail service connecting Louisville and Indianapolis. Funding for this grant was received through the Corridor Identification and Development program. The $500,000 sum will be utilized in conjunction with funding to the Indiana Department of Transportation to work to connect more than 300 miles with passenger rail.
The process will include evaluating sites for stations, usage numbers, and rail infrastructure improvements. The goal is to ensure the long-term viability of rail service and to ensure it presents a “car competitive” travel option. The completion of this project would result in an approximately five stop line running from Louisville to Indianapolis including stops at the Indianapolis airport and connecting the Greater Louisville area all the way to Chicago when combined with existing AMTRAK routes.
Transportation and rail connectivity remain a top priority for GLI and the business community. Connectivity with the rest of the globe is important for economic development and talent attraction as the region competes with growing peer cities. GLI has advocated for expansion of passenger rail since the federal government passed the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which allocated funding to the Federal Railroad Administration for expanded passenger rail service across the US. Earlier this year, GLI and a group of 30 business leaders traveled to Washington D.C. and advocated for expansion of passenger rail service to Louisville during a meeting with the U.S. Department of Transportation.