ebruary 13, 2012
Contact: Ross Capon – 202-408-8362 [mobile: 301-385-6438]
The National Association of Railroad Passengers is applauding President Barack Obama’s Fiscal Year 2013 budget request, released today, which signals a clear intent to continue the modernization and expansion of America’s intercity passenger rail network.
The Obama Administration is proposing an additional $6 billion for passenger trains immediately as part of a larger jobs-creating initiative that looks to build on recent economic growth through investment in America’s infrastructure—much of which is in serious disrepair. The 2012 rail money will be broken down into two pots, with $4 billion going to network development and $2 billion going towards system preservation.
This forward-thinking proposal contrasts sharply to the $1.42 billion set aside for Amtrak in the 2012 round of appropriations—an unacceptable figure given the record-breaking 30.2 million passengers Amtrak carried last year, the eighth ridership record in the last nine years.
In addition, the President is proposing a six-year surface transportation reauthorization with a noteworthy passenger rail component, with $2.546 for High Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail (including Amtrak) in the coming year, and $47.09 billion in total through the end of 2018.
“Amtrak and high-speed rail have become something of a political punching bag recently,” said NARP President Ross Capon. “It is heartening to see the President stick to his guns in promoting sensible transportation policy. NARP will encourage Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle to take up this important piece of legislation that can get America moving again—creating good-paying manufacturing and construction jobs in the process.”