Rail

Committee approves $6 billion for Amtrak

Posted on June 26, 2003

A key House committee approved Wednesday a bipartisan $6 billion proposal for Amtrak for the next three years, reported Reuters. "It is my hope that the funding authorized in this bill will allow a last-chance window of opportunity for an Amtrak turnaround," said Rep. Don Young, an Alaskan Republican and chairman of the Transportation Committee. The measure would meet the first three years of Amtrak's five-year, $8 billion budget to operate its trains and repair the infrastructure of its heavily traveled line between Washington and Boston, said the news service. The Bush administration has proposed dismantling the passenger rail service, which is $4 billion in debt, instead of continuing to subsidize it. As a condition of its $1.05 billion subsidy for the current fiscal year that ends September 30, the administration has required that Amtrak reform its business practices, Reuters reported. "Although serious disagreements still exist about Amtrak's long-term management strategy and structure, there is a common understanding of the need for long-term funding," Young said.

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