Area leaders push for passenger rail service
GONZALES - Area leaders met today to show their support for a passenger rail service. It would build stations in Gonzales, Baton Rouge, Kenner and New Orleans.
Despite the overwhelming support, leaders have not disclosed how much the system would cost. A March 2014 study estimates the service would cost around $262 million to start up with up to 80% paid for by federal funds.
Though some say money would be better spent by improving I-10, several parish leaders say a rail line is a better solution.
"Even once you expand it, it's still going to fill up with traffic," said Tommy Martinez, Ascension Parish president.
Local business owners say they welcome the idea of a rail line.
"We get some people who come through town and will stop but we're kind of off the beat and path," said Skipper McInnis, "so unless they know where we are they don't realize we've been here for thirty years."
The most optimistic projections put the rail service out by another four years.