Walt Maddox calls for Gov. Ivey to support Amtrak project

Walt Maddox calls for Gov. Ivey to support Amtrak project (MGN)

Walt Maddox has called upon Governor Ivey to help restore Amtrak train services to the gulf coast of Alabama:

I call upon Gov. Ivey to support the proposed restoration of the Amtrak passenger rail line from New Orleans to Mobile, an important transportation service that was lost with hurricane Katrina in 2005. Our sister states of Louisiana and Mississippi are doing the right thing by supporting this project, one which will return many times the investment of state dollars by boosting jobs, tourism, and commerce along the magnificent Alabama gulf coast.

The prestigious Trent Lott National Center at the University of Southern Mississippi has concluded that Alabama’s commitment to contributing a mere $5.3 million over the next three years would return at least that much to our economy in construction spending alone. Even more significantly, the benefit to Alabama’s growing tourism industry ranges from $11.8 million on the low end, up to a realistic potential of $220 million flowing into our economy. Alabama’s gulf coast is a travel destination for tourists and business conventions alike, and new ways to get there means growth in jobs and commerce that benefit our entire state.

The failure to join this important transportation project would mean that Alabama would continue its failed policy of turning down free money that will improve its economy, for reasons that defy explanation. There is no logic that justifies another failure on the part of the governor’s office to let this opportunity pass us by. Governor Ivey, do the right thing and make the commitment to the restoration of gulf coast passenger rail service before the upcoming deadline leaves us filled with regret over yet another missed source of much needed revenue.

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