Rail Passengers Association Joins Congresswoman DeLauro
May 19, 2023
Rail Passengers Association joined Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut this morning to highlight the impact of proposed federal cuts to passenger rail investment. Rail Passengers President and CEO Jim Mathews joined Congresswoman DeLauro and City of New Haven Director of Transportation Sandeep Aysola to warn about the potential impacts of these cuts.
May 19th, 2023
For Immediate Release (23-6)
Contact: Madison Butler ([email protected])
Rail Passengers Association Joins Congresswoman DeLauro to Highlight Costs of Proposed Cuts to Rail
New Haven, CT – Rail Passengers Association joined Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut this morning to highlight the impact of proposed federal cuts to passenger rail investment. Rail Passengers President and CEO Jim Mathews joined Congresswoman DeLauro and City of New Haven Director of Transportation Sandeep Aysola to warn about the potential impacts of these cuts.
Congresswoman DeLauro warned that the plan being proposed by House Republicans will claw back funding designated for critical transportation programs passed as part of the Investment in Infrastructure and Jobs Act.
“With the passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, Congress came together to provide a historic level of investment in our infrastructure,” said Mathews. “We have already started to undo the damage of decades of neglect and disinvestment in these systems, and are seeing the benefits. We cannot afford to waiver now.”
Mathews pointed to the tangible benefits that are beginning to materialize as a result of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill:
- Siemens has announced it’s responding to the surge in rail investment by building a second U.S.-based train manufacturing plant in North Carolina, revitalizing America’s domestic manufacturing sector and providing hundreds of family wage jobs -- while also replacing our aging rail fleet with modern, safe equipment
- Amtrak is advancing more than $1 billion worth of station improvement projects in over 200 communities across the country that will improve accessibility for all riders.
- And Amtrak is already beginning to rebuild bridges and tunnels all along the Northeast Corridor -- some that were initially built during the Civil War.
Mathews also described how sweeping cuts to Amtrak’s budget would affect Americans across the nation.
“Amtrak is an essential transportation link in the Northeast -- without the 2,200 daily trains and 260 million annual trips it carries, the lives of tens of millions of Americans would be severely disrupted,” continued Mathews. But Amtrak also plays a critical role for the 62 million people who live in Rural America, a quarter of whom are veterans, and another quarter are senior citizens over the age 65. Almost one-fifth of Amtrak’s passengers travel to or from a rural station with no access to air service.”
“If we cut Amtrak’s budget with no regard to the communities who depend on it, we will be saving millions but costing our economy billions. We must continue these investments in our physical infrastructure to ensure a bright future for this country.”
About Rail Passengers Association
The Rail Passengers Association is the oldest and largest national organization serving as a voice for the more than 40 million rail passengers in the U.S. Our mission is to improve and expand conventional intercity and regional passenger train services, support higher-speed rail initiatives, increase connectivity among all forms of transportation and ensure safety for our country's trains and passengers. All of this makes communities safer, more accessible, and more productive, improving the lives of everyone who lives, works, and plays in towns all across America.
"The COVID Pandemic has been and continues to be the biggest challenge faced by Americans as it has taken a deadly toll on the world and on the world’s economies. During COVID Locomotive Engineers at Amtrak and other Passenger and Freight Railroads have embodied the definition of essential workers. This dedication by our members is not new. We applaud the Rail Passenger’s Association for recognizing the vital contributions of our members and their hard work moving Americans and freight during the COVID pandemic."
Dennis Pierce, Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) National President
December 21, 2021, on the Association awarding its 2021 Golden Spike Award to the Frontline Amtrak Employees.