Federal capital investment supports future growth
WASHINGTON – Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman told a Congressional committee today that America’s Railroad® is leveraging record ridership to reduce dependence on federal operating subsidies. He announced that in FY 2012 the federal government paid just 12 percent of Amtrak’s operating costs while Amtrak covered 88 percent with ticket sales and other revenue.
Boardman explained that while the railroad has taken actions to chip away at operating costs and increase revenue, a vital component of its success has been the federal government’s willingness to invest in the Amtrak national network. Federal capital investment helps to reduce operating costs, supports the existing system, funds solutions to reduce future costs and provides the infrastructure and equipment to sustain ridership and revenue growth.
“Previous federal capital investment levels have sufficed to keep the system going, but they are not going to be adequate in the future,” Boardman stressed. “If we are to realize rail’s potential, we will need much higher levels of federal capital funding.”
He added that the Amtrak long distance trains are an important part of a larger national network connecting rural communities to larger cities and major urban areas. They serve passengers with disabilities, the elderly and rural populations that are losing scheduled intercity air and bus service. In fact, long distance trains bring one million riders a year to the Northeast Corridor.
Amtrak is America’s Railroad®, the nation’s intercity passenger rail service and its high-speed rail operator. Amtrak and its state and commuter partners move people, the economy and the nation forward. Formally known as the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, Amtrak is governed by a nine member board of directors appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Anthony R. Coscia is board chairman and Jeffrey R. Moreland is vice chairman. In FY 2014, nearly 31 million passengers traveled on Amtrak on more than 300 daily trains – at speeds up to 150 mph (241 kph) – that connect 46 states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian Provinces. Enjoy the journey® at Amtrak.com or call 800-USA-RAIL for schedules, fares and more information. Like us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter (@Amtrak) and check out our blog at blog.amtrak.com.