People Moving: Downtown Transportation Options Expanding In Fort Wayne

By Jeff Neumeyer

February 28, 2013 Updated Feb 28, 2013 at 7:08 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) --- The pieces continue to fall into place for enhanced transportation options in downtown Fort Wayne.

Will improved bus service translate into improved rail service as well?

Greyhound announced Wednesday that it will move its Fort Wayne bus operations to the new Citilink central station on West Baker Street starting March 5th.

That Citilink station is a major upgrade that took place within the past several months.

The marriage between the two bus outfits will allow inbound passengers with Greyhound to hop on city buses and get to car rental businesses or to the airport.

5th District Fort Wayne City Council Member Geoff Paddock sees an even more significant potential partnership.

He points to renovation of the old Baker Street train station next door, which is being marketed as a place that could host passenger rail service in the not too distant future, maybe even high speed rail.

Passenger trains traveling 110 miles per hour are already running between Chicago and St. Louis, and there are plans to unveil similar service between Chicago and other Midwest cities like Milwaukee, Detroit and Minneapolis.

There's a new crusade to have high-speed rail run from Chicago through Fort Wayne to Columbus Ohio.

Columbus is the largest city in the country that currently has no passenger rail service.

" We're hoping that Fort Wayne could become a priority, if we can move that up to the priority list, and we think we have a good chance because of the proximity of Columbus Ohio. Then we might be able to actually see something move here in the next couple of years," said Paddock.

Paddock acknowledges there are plenty of doubters who wonder if we'll ever see high-speed rail service through Fort Wayne.

Money was raised to come up with a business plan to show how it could actually work here, and how many jobs it might create.

Advocates hope to use that information to try and convince new Indiana Governor Mike Pence to put state money in the game.

Paddock says Pence will likely be given a sales pitch on the concept in the next month or two.

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