The Mobile City Council’s Finance Committee plan to meet Thursday at Government Plaza to discuss a multi-million dollar financial commitment to bring Amtrak back to the city.
The Amtrak Service stopped after Hurricane Katrina damaged tracks along the Gulf Coast in 2005. If the proposal is approved the route would be from Mobile to New Orleans twice a day with stops in Pascagoula, Biloxi, Gulfport, and Bay St. Louis.
So far, Mississippi is in for $15 million and Louisiana for $10 million. $33 million will come from federal funds in the form of a grant from the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements program. Mobile and the State of Alabama are the only ones who haven’t financially committed to the project as of yet. Governor Kay Ivey has shown little interest in the past in funding Amtrak. Mobile is being asked to contribute $3 million.
The City of Mobile would also have to build a terminal, either near the Convention Center downtown which would be preferable for tourists, or at the Brookley Aeroplex where Mayor Sandy Stimpson hopes to relocate passenger air service.
Thursday committee meeting starts at 3:30 at Government Plaza. The full council will likely vote on the issue at its meeting on December 31.