A measure before Illinois lawmakers could tap unused resources from airport authorities to create more public transportation options.  Dan Johnson of the Midwest High Speed Rail Association says airport authorities use the bulk of their money to attract new flights – but what if they could use it to form their own inter-city public transportation systems?


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“Air service tends to be shrinking in mid-sized markets,” he says. “It makes a lot of sense to say well, let’s have these leaders in the community think about making inter-city bus and inter-city train service as good as inter-city air service.”   Johnson says such services wouldn’t supplant public transportation already in place, but would help fill a void in areas where inter-city rail and bus service isn’t available. He says an airport authority-run system could provide bus service, for example, from Springfield, Champaign or Bloomington to the Quad Cities: routes a train doesn’t currently serve.


S.B. 2527 passed out of a Senate committee and now awaits floor debate.


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