Support Midwest Passenger Rail

Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Compact

On February 19, the Iowa House passed HF591, which allows the state of Iowa to  join the Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Compact.  The vote was 85 to 6.  The next step is for the Senate to approve the bill.  

The compact's purpose is:

  • To promote development and implementation of improvements to intercity passenger rail service in the midwest.
  • To coordinate interaction among midwestern state elected officials and their designees on passenger rail issues.
  • To promote development and implementation of long-range plans for high-speed rail passenger service in the midwest and among other regions of the United States.
  • To work with the public and private sectors at the federal, state, and local levels to ensure coordination among the various entities having an interest in passenger rail service and to promote midwestern interests regarding passenger rail.
  • To support efforts of transportation agencies involved in developing and implementing passenger rail service in the midwest.
Iowa capitol

Midwest states that can be included in the compact are Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Ohio, and South Dakota, and Iowa.  Midwestern states are already planning for more passenger rail.  It makes sense for Iowa to have a seat at the table, in planning for future rail.  Rail provides a great alternative to cars and planes for travel in the midwest and beyond.

What you can do:

Ask your Senator to support HF591 and SF2315, which authorizes Iowa to join the Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Compact. 

To look up your senate member, see www.legis.iowa.gov/legislators/senate
To find your legislators, see www.legis.iowa.gov/legislators/find
 
talking points
  1. Midwestern states are already planning for more passenger rail.  It makes sense for Iowa to have a seat at the table with the 8 other states already in the compact. 
  2. Rail provides a great alternative to cars and planes for travel in the midwest and beyond. 
  3. Rail provides a form of transportation to those who cannot drive or do not want to drive in large cities - that includes senior citizens, those with low vision, those uncomfortable driving in busier places where they may not know where they are going.
  4. Rail can bring tourists into the state and economic development.
  5. Rail will reduce the number of cars on our interstates.  Adding more driving lanes to our interstates means increased expenses to taxpayers.