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Rail News: Amtrak

Trump's budget slashes Amtrak funding, phases out long-distance routes

President Trump's budget would slash Amtrak's funding by more than 50 percent compared with 2020 levels.
Photo – amtrak.com


President Donald Trump's administration yesterday unveiled a proposed fiscal-year 2021 budget that calls for cutting Amtrak funding by more than 50 percent compared with 2020 levels.

The White House budget would cut funding to the Northeast Corridor from $700 million to $325 million, as well as cut funding for long-distance train routes from $1.3 billion to $611 million. After that, the White House would phase out support for Amtrak's long-distance trains, Reuters reported.

The budget also would provide $13.2 billion for public transportation, a $303 million increase from the FY2020 enacted level, according to the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). However, the budget would cut passenger-rail grant programs by $712 million for a total of $1.8 billion.

Trump's budgets have called for similar cuts in the past, but have been rejected. Democrats are not likely to go along with this latest proposal.

Meanwhile, the Trump budget also proposed a 10-year, $810 billion plan for surface transportation reauthorization to replace the FAST Act, which expires Sept. 30. The amount is $75 billion above current law levels, according to APTA.

That proposal includes $155.4 billion for public transit over the 10 years. The administration stated that it would submit a comprehensive surface transportation reauthorization proposal in the coming months, APTA officials said in a legislative update.