“The funding levels proposed in the House FY24 transportation appropriations bill for Amtrak and FRA rail programs will stop the advancement of passenger rail in its tracks. If the proposed levels become law, Amtrak will have to radically reduce or suspend service on various routes across the nation, impacting our State Supported, Long Distance and Northeast Corridor services. The proposed amount – a 64% cut from Amtrak’s FY23 annual appropriation and 76% lower than the levels authorized by Congress – would dismantle vital transportation links across America and negatively impact jobs and the American economy. Additionally, with almost no funding for capital expenses, Amtrak would be forced to immediately reduce vital state of good repair work needed to reliably operate our network and defer many of the major modernization projects that were funded by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) just over a year and a half ago. Amtrak’s IIJA funds can primarily be used only for major infrastructure projects and equipment procurements, not the basic maintenance, operations, and routine day-to-day expenditures supported by our annual appropriations.
At a time when Amtrak has nearly returned to pre-pandemic ridership levels and is busy generating increased revenue, creating a historic number of jobs, and investing in the American economy, these proposed cuts would harm the country and take us in the wrong direction. We will work with Congress as the FY24 appropriations process continues to demonstrate the value of passenger rail to our customers and their constituents and articulate the negative consequences that this funding cut would have on the nation’s intercity passenger rail network.”