Amtrak increases funding request to Congress, warns of more cuts without aid

RELATED TOPICS: AMTRAK | PASSENGER | FUNDING | CORONAVIRUS | POLITICS
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In a letter to Congress, Amtrak has requested up to $4.857 billion for fiscal 2021 — an increase from its previous request for pandemic-related aid to supplement its usual funding — and warns of more cuts without such aid

In the letter, Amtrak President and CEO Bill Flynn writes “ridership is not returning as quickly or at the levels that we had hoped for, and we updated our forecast” for the fiscal year. The passenger railroad says it has also identified an additional $5.193 billion in programs that could be part of economy stimulus programs, including major infrastructure projects, new rolling stock, and station improvements. It says this spending could generate more than 75,000 jobs.

Without additional funding, it says, potential impacts include the reduction of corridor train service and deferred capital spending, which could lead to the loss of an additional 2,400 jobs. “If the [fiscal 2020[ funding level is extended beyond Dec. 11, 2020, and supplemental funding has not yet been provided,” Flynn warns in the letter, “we will be unable to avoid more drastic impacts that could have long-lasting effects on our Northeast Corridor infrastructure and the national rail system.” The full letter is available here.

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