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Travel Update 05-03

Governor's Travel Control Board Travel Update

TO:
Agency Travel Coordinators
FROM:
Michael M. Rumman, Chairman
DATE:
December 29, 2004
SUBJECT:
Amtrak Business Class Tickets and Updated Schedule
 
#05-03

The Governor’s Travel Control Board wishes to clarify its policy on Amtrak Business Class tickets. Section 3000.300 (a) of the Travel Rules states “All travel shall be by the most economical mode of transportation considering travel time, costs, and work requirements.” A flat $16.00 Government Fare applies to Amtrak travel for the Chicago/Springfield route in each direction. Employees traveling on Amtrak will be eligible to claim a maximum reimbursement of $16.00 each direction regardless if a higher priced Business Class ticket is purchased.

Any agency or employee wishing to claim reimbursement for a Business Class ticket will be required to submit a request for an exception to the Board. To be considered, this request must be personally signed by the Agency Head and must contain a full justification as to why it was necessary to pay the higher fee.

In order to receive the $16.00 Government Fare, tickets must be booked directly through Amtrak. The Government Fare is not available through the on line reservation system. When purchasing tickets using the toll free number, the option will be offered to speak to an agent. Use this option and ask specifically for the $16.00 Government Fare.

Amtrak

(800) USA-RAIL (General Reservations)
(217) 753-2013 (Springfield Station)
(312) 558-1075 (Chicago Station)
www.amtrak.com (for schedules to destinations other than Springfield/Chicago route.)

Also, as a reminder, Amtrak requires passengers to make advance reservations for all trains serving the State of Illinois. To ensure seat availability, employees should call Amtrak prior to the intended date of travel. State employees will not be penalized for canceling or changing reservations with Amtrak.

Below is a schedule that was updated November 1, 2004 for the Chicago/Springfield route.

Springfield to Chicago Chicago to Springfield
Train No. Depart Arrive Train No. Depart Arrive
300 6:32am 10am 303 8:25am 11:43am
22* 10:41am 2:25pm 21 3:20pm 6:45pm
304 5:05pm 7:45pm 305 5:15pm 8:37pm

* State employees would be advised to avoid using this train (22) if possible. The train originates in San Antonio, TX and is often behind schedule.

As the appointed Travel Coordinator for your agency, it is your responsibility to disseminate this information to all appropriate personnel within your agency. If you have any questions, please contact Kelley Shaw at (217) 782-4705.

cc:
Agency Heads
Agency Fiscal Officers
Brian Daly, Member
John Filan, Member