Therefore, it is absolutely necessary that Amtrak-served Communities organize to demand that Amtrak reaffirm its commitment to providing long-term, sustainable train service to its entire network.
This petition is being organized by the Rail Passengers Association, a 28,000-strong membership organization that advocates for better passenger rail service across the U.S. It will be delivered to the U.S. Congress and Amtrak CEO Richard Anderson.
Reach us at 202-408-8362, or www.railpassengers.org
Text of petition:
Earlier this year, Congress enacted a Fiscal Year 2018 bill that includes $2.813 billion directly targeted at intercity rail programs—an increase of $1.3 billion over the Fiscal 2017 level. That figure includes $1.9 billion for Amtrak, including $650 million for the NEC and $1.3 billion for the National Network. This represents the largest appropriation in Amtrak’s 47 year history.
It is with dismay that, in response to this record level of public investment, Amtrak has made several service-level decisions that call into question its commitment to the National Network. Amtrak announced in April that it is cutting back food & beverage service on two long-distance services, and that it will be eliminating station agents in 15 National Network communities. Additionally, President & CEO Richard Anderson has given public remarks that cast serious doubt on his support of long-distance trains, implying they should be broken up and replaced with state-supported corridor service.
Our towns depend upon Amtrak. We have invested our own funds in train stations and passenger rail infrastructure. We support the railroad’s strategy to grow passenger rail service along heavily-traveled corridors, but insist it must happen in addition to National Network service, not at the expense of existing Amtrak communities.Therefore, it is absolutely necessary that Amtrak reaffirm its commitment to providing long-term, sustainable train service to all Amtrak-served communities.
Therefore: in light of record public investment in passenger rail and recent actions by Amtrak management affecting National Network service, we the undersigned, call upon Amtrak to report to Congress and Amtrak-served communities how it will invest these funds to ensure continued, high-quality service to all towns on the national rail system, and how your organization will alter your long-term service line plans in response to this increase over base FY 2018 projections.