PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — After months of gathering community input, Peoria city leaders decided to spend $100,000 on a passenger rail study.

“We know what happens when we don’t do the study, we get subtracted,” said Rid Ruckregiel

The $100,000 will allow the city of Peoria to apply for federal funds. The Biden Administration announced the availability of $66 billion to support rail projects across the United States.

“This is an investment in a corridor all across Illinois, not just in Central Illinois,” said Ray LaHood, former U.S. Secretary of Transportation.

This brings the city one step closer to making the transportation project happen.

“There’s over $66 billion of money in the infrastructure bill that was just passed that will be going towards passenger rail throughout the United States,” said Peoria City Manager, Patrick Urich.

In order for a community to apply for those federal funds, everyone that’s benefitting has to pitch in.

In this case, Peoria County, the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission, and the North Central Illinois Council of Government are each chipping in $50,000 while the city of Peoria is contributing $100,000.

“This is about the future, it’s about economic development, it’s about jobs, and it’s about an opportunity that Peoria will not see again,” said LaHood.

The city is looking at one or two ways to fund the project, both proposals will come from the federal railroad administration.

  1. The Corridor Identification and Development Program
  2. The Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements Program