MONROE, La. (KTVE/KARD) — Some exciting new for the city of Monroe, U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy along with other elected officials held a stakeholder meeting this afternoon to discuss starting a passenger rail service along the I-20 corridor.

How do we create that possibility of travel between our cities and make it easier? Allowing people not to drive and focus on the road but to focus on their work and their conversations that’s what we want.

Bill Cassidy, Senator, (R)-Louisiana.

The Passenger Rail Terminal Project is an opportunity to construct a new rail transit terminal. The proposed trail terminal will be a key stop along what is currently the Kansas City Southern Rail Line connecting metropolitan areas between Dallas Texas and Atlanta Georgia.

At the proposed location bordered by North 3rd street North fourth street and Desired Street, this project will provide a first-floor passenger terminal complete with retail spaces and a 3-level parking garage located above the terminal.

I call this building an economy for 2050. In 2050 people are going to want to stay at home with broadband internet which the bipartisan infrastructure bill pays for.

Bill Cassidy, Senator, (R)-Louisiana.

The estimated cost of the project is $45 million dollars, and it’s anticipated that federal funds will be secured to assist with the funding of this endeavor.

Not only will Amtrak be a stimulus to our economy and give us extra motor transportation, but we will also have retail spaces and opportunities for small businesses to grow.

Mayor Friday Ellis, City of Monroe.

The passenger terminal will provide additional downtown retail space as well as covered parking in the center of downtown. It will be in walking distance to restaurants, hotels and other retail establishments.

The other thing that Monroe is doing that is very impressive is they are already putting together a downtown hotel, there putting together an event space they’re doing everything that needs to be done.

Ross Knox, Southern Rail Commission.

Officials estimate the project could be completed in as little as two and a half years. The proposed site is approximately 1.71 acres.