That regional train is now being operated by a private company, Iowa Pacific Holdings, using Iowa Pacific staff and Iowa Pacific rolling stock. There's a dining car serving real food on real china, and business class passengers rate a Great Dome lounge. They pay more for the privilege, but it's apparently worth it.
Almost 2,500 people rode the Hoosier State last month, and that was up 46% compared to September of last year. It was also the fifth consecutive month when this year’s ridership exceeded the numbers from 2015. And there’s more: according to the Indiana DOT, revenue from tickets sold in September totaled more than $82,000 and that was a 64% increase from September of last year.Downsizing is a false economy, forsooth!
For examples of one-way Chicago-to-Indianapolis adult fares, I picked two mid-week days next month for a snapshot comparison: One-way Business Class, CHI – IND, on the Cardinal is $64; one-way Business Class on the Hoosier State is $70.
I shall now risk stating the obvious: People will respond to a quality experience and they will pay more for it. Likewise, nickel-and-diming passengers by cutting costs is counter-productive.