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The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) is soliciting requests for proposals to improve the Hoosier State passenger-rail service that operates between Indianapolis and Chicago four days a week. The RFPs are due by April 29.After the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act ended federal support for certain Amtrak routes of less than 750 miles last year, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence announced an agreement to keep the Hoosier State service operating for one year in partnership with Indianapolis, Crawfordsville, Rensselaer, Lafayette, West Lafayette, Tippecanoe County and Beech Grove.INDOT and the communities are seeking to improve the Hoosier State passenger experience, increase the number of passengers on the route and decrease operating costs by opening the operation of the service to competition from private operators in addition to Amtrak, INDOT officials said in a press release.The act allows states to contract with independent providers or Amtrak to operate the route that they now help subsidize. Operators may offer to take on all or some portion of the Hoosier State passenger-rail service, including upkeep and maintenance of Indianapolis Union Station, INDOT officials said.
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