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Business & Economy

Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill Could Hint At Central Ohio Amtrak Expansion

An Amtrak train pulls out of Chicago's coach yard and maintenance facility.
Loco Steve
/
Flickr
An Amtrak train pulls out of Chicago's coach yard and maintenance facility.

With the bipartisan infrastructure bill passing in the U.S. House, Amtrak will look to expand its services around the country. And there are hints at an Ohio expansion.

In an interview with Axios, Amtrak CEO Bill Flynn mentioned routes between Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati and Dayton as a possible area of expansion. Multiple outlets report Amtrak will get $66 billion from the bill.

Thea Ewing, the director of transportation and infrastructure development with the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, said it's not entirely out of the question. She said the bill is just the first step to possibly get the funding to bring Amtrak to Central Ohio.

"We needed to know that the resources were available nationally to make the kind of investment that would be needed to get such a large service off the ground, when you're talking about connecting Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus and Cleveland," Ewing said.

Ewing also said the potential for Amtrak means a lot, especially when it comes to jobs and equity opportunities.

"It's certainly an opportunity for folks that don't have a reliable vehicle to go see family that may be out of town in one of these other cities."

The bill currently awaits for President Joe Biden's signature.

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Michael Lee joined WOSU in 2021, but was previously an intern at the station in 2018. He is a graduate from Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism where he obtained his master's degree, and an alumnus of Ohio State University. Michael has previously worked as an intern at the Columbus Dispatch and most recently, the Chicago Sun-Times.