Cuts the governor is proposing for next year's budget are a concern for transportation officials.
Gov. Bruce Rauner's plan includes $20 million worth of cuts to Amtrak. Laura Calderon, the director of the Illinois Public Transportation Association, says that means about six million trips will be eliminated downstate.
"This impact is not just on transit. It has a much broader impact on the economy, on the schools, on the universities," she said. "It really does hit everyone."
Suburbanites who leave Chicago by rail can expect to arrive home on time. Trains are frequent on every route. And ticket prices are lower than the cost of driving. But rail passengers who travel from Chicago to downstate destinations have no such assurances.
Metra, the commuter rail authority that serves the Chicago region, and Amtrak, the passenger rail company that serves the nation, are comparable in some ways, of course. Both are subsidized with taxpayer dollars. They use the same tracks and share some stations.