Bill Would Create Regular Amtrak Funding

Two members of Congress have introduced legislation that would create a dedicated funding source for Amtrak.

U.S. Senator Richard Blumental (D-Connecticut) and U.S. Rep Danny Davis (D-Illinois) said their proposed Intercity Passenger Rail Trust Fund Act would create provide $5.4 billion annually for repairs, service improvements, fleet modernization and other needs.

The bill earmarks 40 percent of its funding for the Northeast Corridor and 60 percent for the national network. The funds could be used for capital and operating expenses.

 “This bill envisions the long-term, steady funding commitment to our nation’s intercity passenger rail system necessary to ensure it is safe and reliable for passengers today and long into the future,” Blumenthal said in statement.

The statement said intercity passenger rail is the only major form of transportation without a dedicated funding stream.

Amtrak CEO William Flynn in his own statement said the legislation is “a game changer for America and for Amtrak.”

Corresponding legislation was introduced in the House.

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