On May 1, 1971, Amtrak began operations. To celebrate, Amtrak President/CEO Joe Boardman released the following statement:
“As Amtrak celebrates its 42nd year as America’s Railroad, we remain a vital part of the national transportation network and economy. With record ridership and strong financial performance, Amtrak is successfully fulfilling its national mission and daily demonstrating its value to the country.
“However, Amtrak has been underfunded and has too many conflicting missions with only year-to-year funding to plan, build, and maintain safe infrastructure and provide national surface transportation mobility and connectivity. In addition, multiple layers of oversight have been added to what Congress intended to be a ‘private’ company that carries out public policy.
“It is time for dedicated, multi-year federal operating and capital funding for Amtrak and intercity passenger rail. Our customers and our nation have waited for 42 years too long already.
“If Congress provides predictable and needed levels of federal funding support, Amtrak and our state partners can better deliver a future of improved reliability, enhanced capacity, more service, increased speeds, and reduced trip times on the Northeast Corridor and other passenger rail corridors around the country, including the development of new ones.
“Amtrak looks forward to proudly serving the nation in the years ahead.”