Oklahoma train service at risk under new patchwork budget
Ponca City Now - June 13, 2016 9:33 am
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – Continued service on the Heartland Flyer passenger train between Oklahoma City and Fort Worth, Texas, is in danger because costs are rising and state funding is shrinking.
Oklahoma gives the Department of Transportation $2.85 million a year to help pay for the service, but Amtrak says Oklahoma’s share is $3.3 million. ODOT has used money from a revolving fund to make up the difference previously, but legislators this year tapped it to help cover a $1.3 billion shortfall in Oklahoma’s overall budget.
The director of capital programs for ODOT, Dawn Sullivan, told The Oklahoman (http://bit.ly/1UNIMPb ) that rising costs are a concern, and that it will be a challenge to keep the train running. Nearly 78,000 people took the train in 2014, the last year for which complete statistics are available.