This shouldn’t be a conversation of whether Amtrak receives funding, but how that funding should be spent as the U.S. continues to fall behind its peers in high-speed infrastructure.
Amtrak marked 42 years of service on Wednesday with a plea for more money from Congress.
CEO Joe Boardman said Amtrak remains a “vital part” of the nation’s transportation system, but can’t continue to fulfill its “national mission” without more money from Washington.
“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,” Boardman said in a statement. “In addition, multiple layers of oversight have been added to what Congress intended to be a ‘private’ company that carries out public policy.”
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Photo credit: Amtrak Locomotive 503 pulling up the rear of the passing Amtrak 792 from San Luis Obispo to Los Angeles. P. Ferriola / Flickr