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McGuire: Amtrak deal good for cities, colleges, students

AmtrakSPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Transportation and Amtrak announced late last week that they have reached an agreement to maintain service on state-supported routes at a savings to taxpayers and without having to raise fares on the downstate routes.

When the governor announced his initial plans to slash support for these routes, State Senator Pat McGuire (D-Joliet) questioned whether these cuts were wise in the long term.

“The governor's proposal last spring to cut state support of Amtrak's intercity Illinois routes by 40 percent was troubling. In response, we held a Higher Education Committee hearing at which mayors, business leaders and university officials explained that frequent Amtrak service attracts investment, retains students, and reduces the need for on-campus parking,” said McGuire, chairman of the Senate’s higher education panel.

College students make up a significant portion of the ridership on these routes, including the Lincoln Service, which runs four times a day between Chicago and St. Louis and passes through Joliet.

“I'm pleased IDOT listened,” McGuire said. “This is good news for everyday Illinoisans and for Joliet's new multi-modal transportation center, too.”

Sen. Pat McGuire

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43rd District

Years served:
2012 - Present

Committee assignments: Environment and Conservation; Appropriations II; Higher Education (Chairperson); Revenue; Transportation; Committee of the Whole; State Government & Veterans Affairs (Vice-Chairperson).

Biography: Former teacher, school board member, Will County treasurer and Braidwood City Clerk; attended Joliet Catholic schools from first grade through college; married (Lora) with one daughter (Molly).