June 21, 2018 - al.com -

Governor goes against recommendation of her Southern Rail Commission appointees
Cities more needs for highways and port even though airport authority likes idea

In a setback for supporters hoping to see passenger rail service return to Alabama, Gov. Kay Ivey has opted not to commit state money to help reestablish a coastal Amtrak connection.

Ivey had through Wednesday to decide whether the state would make a $5.3 million pledge over the next three years to help restore Amtrak service between Mobile and New Orleans. On Thursday, her office released a statement saying she had opted against it.

That statement read, in full:

"I have carefully evaluated the impact of restoring passenger rail service between Mobile and New Orleans and the potential economic benefits it may produce. As a result of Alabama's growing economic and global footprint, the Port of Mobile continues to expand, while Alabama achieved a record level of exports in 2017, totaling $21.7 billion. Accordingly, consideration must also be given to the impact passenger rail service will have on the commercial and freight rail service that share the same track. It has become clear to me that, though some economic benefit may be realized by new passenger rail service, such service will have an outsized detrimental impact on other types of rail service.

Read more: https://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2018/06/ivey_other_priorities_outweigh.html