Call Your Rep: Pass the Transportation Bill, Secure the Network
August 15, 2018
With August halfway done, it’s important that we continue our work in support of passenger rail and Amtrak’s National Network. Members of the U.S. House are back home for recess, and they need to hear that their constituents support the FY2019 transportation appropriations bill—both for its funding levels and the critical language requiring Amtrak to preserve the Southwest Chief provision.
It’s important that you call your Representative and ask them to support the higher FY19 funding levels and the Southwest Chief provision in the minibus (HR 6147). This is especially important if you live in ILLINOIS, IOWA, MISSOURI, KANSAS, COLORADO, NEW MEXICO, ARIZONA, and CALIFORNIA.
This request is even more timely given an Amtrak employee advisory on the SW Chief, announcing that no final decisions have been made on the route and that its executives will be touring line next week. We have Congress on our side, but constituents must advocate loudly for this bill to make sure it isn’t watered down in conference!
In addition to the SW Chief provision, the bill includes robust funding for Rail Passengers’ priorities:
- $1.3 billion for Amtrak’s National Network;
- $650 million for the Northeast Corridor;
- $255 million for Consolidated Rail Infrastructure & Safety grants;
- $300 million for Federal State Partnership for State of Good Repair grants;
- $10 million for Restoration grants;
- $9.9 billion for transit formula grants;
- $2.5 billion for rail transit grants; and
- $1 billion for BUILD grants.
Please reach out to your Representatives to let them know you support inclusion of the SW Chief provision in the funding minibus and the higher funding levels for passenger rail and transit.
"We would not be in the position we’re in if it weren’t for the advocacy of so many of you, over a long period of time, who have believed in passenger rail, and believe that passenger rail should really be a part of America’s intermodal transportation system."
Secretary Ray LaHood, U.S. Department of Transportation
2011 Spring Council Meeting