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The leader of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) is calling on Amtrak and state departments of transportation to complete negotiations over state-supported intercity passenger-agreements prior to the federal deadline of Oct. 16 in order to avoid a major disruption in rail service."The states recognize the importance of intercity passenger-rail service to the people and businesses that depend on the routes, as well as our overall economy," said AASHTO Executive Director Bud Wright in a press release. "We will see a significant disruption in travel and mobility if these agreements are not in place soon."The Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 directed states and Amtrak to "develop and implement a single, nationwide standardized methodology for establishing and allocating the operating and capital costs among the states and Amtrak along the intercity passenger-rail corridors." The deadline for completing those agreements is Oct. 16.Currently, Amtrak operates 21 state-supported passenger rail routes in 15 states. State-supported corridors account for half of Amtrak's annual ridership, Wright said.
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