November 1, 2023 - TRA Newswire -
20 million Americans that travel by train could see extreme cuts to Amtrak intercity rail service if the U.S. House follows through this week on a partisan plan to cut funding for passenger trains by almost 2/3.
These radical cuts to passenger rail and transit are outlined in the House FY24 THUD bill (HR 4820), which is expected to be voted on in the House before the end of this week.
If H.R. 4820 is passed into law, it would:
Texas Rail Advocates urges followers to contact your U.S. House Representative. Call and let them know a NO vote preserves what little intercity passenger rail service we have in the state. Small and medium size rural Texas towns served by Amtrak have few transportation choices at present and rely on passenger rail as an option.
The bill is H.R. 4820, the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2024.
We need to GROW service and move away from pouring more asphalt and concrete to widen and expand highways. Texas continues to grow and we can't rely on just roadways to move people and goods in the future. We need rail as a multi-modal component of a complete transportation system. Join us in the call for #NotMoreLanesMoreTrains.
DC-based Rail Passengers Association will be tracking individual amendments related to passenger rail here. No additional funding is expected to be added to any passenger rail or transit program and the Republican-led majority in the House only has budget cuts on the table.
According to Rail Passengers Association, This bill includes a 64 percent cut to Amtrak funding below the FY23 adopted levels and an 85 percent reduction to the Federal Transit Administration’s main capitalization program.
The cuts to Amtrak include a 92 percent reduction in funds to the Northeast Corridor (NEC), the busiest rail corridor in the Western Hemisphere, which carries more than 2,200 trains every day. Disrupting service on this corridor – which carries 780,000 commuters from eight commuter railroads every weekday – would harm the entire U.S. economy.
It will also threaten the elimination of Amtrak service for hundreds of cities and small towns across the U.S. Many of the rural communities Amtrak serves don’t even have access to intercity bus transportation, much less a regional airport. Rail Passengers Association modeling suggests that Amtrak’s interconnected services in the Northeast Corridor, the long-distance National Network and the dozens of State-supported Amtrak routes together return between $7 billion and $8 billion each year to our Nation’s GDP—four times what we typically invest in the service.
The cuts included in H.R. 4820 will:
Find your Congressman/woman here and please call: https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative