To support passenger rail, existing track will need improvement to support higher speeds, and train signals must be upgraded to increase passenger safety. Depots must be built or rehabilitated and platforms that meet current standards constructed. All of these activities will support job creation or retention by requiring the services of a variety of professionals and laborers.
Businesses locate where there are transportation options that serve them best, and the additional passenger rail routes will open up new opportunities, and help attract and retain good workers in Iowa. Universities will have a similar advantage in recruitment by offering more travel options for students.
New commercial and residential developments are likely to spring up near passenger depots, helping to reinvigorate an area or a community.
Projected economic benefits of the Chicago to Iowa City route
- Job growth is estimated at 588 per year over the first four years during design and construction.
- An increase in business activity is estimated at $25 million per year following service initiation.