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U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao announces $1 billion for Amtrak

Christian Fernsby |
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao announced that the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is making over $1 billion available to the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) to support the railroad’s activities to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the spread of the coronavirus disease in the United States and its impacts on operations and business.

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Topics: U.S.    AMTRAK   

The funding is being provided under the recently enacted Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Amtrak has experienced an unprecedented decline of over ninety percent in ridership in recent weeks as well as a decline in future ticket purchases for the coming months, and has pulled certain routes out of service.

The CARES Act funding will be used to offset the loss of ticket revenue, which is used to pay Amtrak’s employees, buy fuel for its operations and construction materials for its projects, and otherwise maintain Amtrak’s robust network of intercity passenger routes, including routes in rural areas that have seen total cancellation in service.

Ticket revenues also fund track and infrastructure maintenance programs on Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor which millions of Americans use to commute to their jobs every day.

Under the CARES Act, FRA will make or amend existing grants to Amtrak to provide a total of approximately $1.02 billion; $492,000,000 for the Northeast Corridor and $526,000,000 for the in National Network Grants, as authorized by sections 11101(a) and 11101(b) of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, the multimodal surface transportation legislation that provides statutory parameters for FRA’s execution and oversight of grant agreements with Amtrak for Federal funds appropriated by Congress.

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