After The Trent Lott National Center at the University of Southern Mississippi prepared a report Monday afternoon detailing the economic benefits to the Mississippi taxpayers of restored passenger rail along the gulf coast, the Southern Rail Commission announced an economic impact of passenger rail to the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
The key finding from this report estimates the return on investment for this train is between $64 million and $525 million annually depending on the increase in tourism.
Federal funding is available for the restoration of passenger rail service along the gulf coast, and the deadline to apply for it is June 21st. These grants require a non-federal match. A combined state-local commitment is envisioned to cover the $14.82 million needed from Mississippi.
Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant is working with the three coastal counties to secure the non-federal match required to make this service a reality. These funds would flow over several years so the Governor and localities will never have to write a check for all the money at one time.