The Indiana Department of Transportation said Monday that it selected Corridor Capital LLC of Chicago to run the endangered Hoosier State passenger rail line from Indianapolis to Chicago.
Corridor Capital beat out proposals made earlier this year from three other companies.
It remains to be seen, however, what difference the firm will make in service and at what cost. INDOT spokesman Will Wingfield said the state would not share the details of Corridor Capital's proposal until a contract is in place.
The contract is pending approval by communities along the Hoosier State route that pitched in last fall to keep the service going for another year. The communities, which include Indianapolis and Lafayette, would have to continue supporting the service.
Corridor Capital Chairman James Coston did not return a message seeking comment. The firm compares itself to a real estate developer because it assembles the necessary talent and resources for passenger service projects.
Under the state’s request for proposals, Corridor Capital would pick up where Amtrak left off with the Hoosier State, operating four times a week, but at an improved level of service, possibly with wi-fi access, food service and on-time performance.
Corridor beat out Iowa Pacific Holdings LLC, Herzog Transit Inc. and Travel Train Holdings Inc.
INDOT treated the selection process the same as if it were hiring a consultant, so it was not based on the lowest bid, Wingfield said. According to the scoring sheets released by INDOT, Corridor ranked high on its knowledge of passenger rail service; realistic nature of plans for improvement; realistic financing plan; plan to work with Amtrak, which did not respond to the RFP; and ability to work with freight railroads on rerouting the Hoosier State through the Chicago area.