Rutherford says Amtrak needs improvements to prove worthy of state funding
PEORIA-- You'd think someone who has spent so much time in Springfield, Bloomington, and Pontiac would say good things about Amtrak. If that someone is Dan Rutherford, you'd be wrong.
Rutherford, the state treasurer who is in a four-way Republican primary for governor, said it’s ridiculous for the government to prop up an outfit which makes customers wait in gravel parking lots for trains which are four hours late.
“Until they can get those trains to run on time, I don't see having any good government money going to it without a great deal of accountability,” Rutherford said in a public broadcasting debate in Peoria.
State Sen. Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale) has supported Amtrak but echoed Rutherford's concerns: “If the trains don't get there, it doesn't mean that they need to run faster. Yes, Amtrak's vital, but it needs to perform better.”
Financier Bruce Rauner says the passenger rail system is part of a big, important picture. “To the degree we don't have the money to invest,”Rauner said, “we should form creative public-private partnerships to help finance investments in our infrastructure so it's world class.”