Promoting passenger trains as a transportation alternative in Florida since 1983.  We are citizens who advocate for Amtrak, commuter rail, intercity rail and transit for Florida's future.

PRIIA Funding, Pets on Amtrak Discussed In House

14 Feb 2015 9:43 AM | Jackson McQuigg (Administrator)

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved PRIIA funds for Amtrak on a voice vote this week. 

Details on the funding situation here from The Hill: http://thehill.com/policy/transportation/232696-house-transportation-committee-approves-78b-amtrak-bill

Meanwhile, some of the media attention has focused on the Congressional desire to allow Amtrak patrons to bring their pets on passenger trains. From the Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/12/dogs-on-trains_n_6672722.html

Nowhere in these discussions was there a real commitment to addressing Amtrak's long-term capital needs, however. 

In a further demonstration of its inability to grasp Amtrak's long term funding needs the House T&I Committee also required Amtrak to spend operating revenues it makes in the Boston-Washington Northeast Corridor within the Corridor itself. From NJ.Com: http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/02/whats_raised_in_amtraks_northeast_corridor_should.html

As most passenger rail advocates know, Amtrak makes operating "profits" from its Northeast Corridor services above the rails, but Corridor has intensive capital needs which far outstrip its revenues. 

All in all, a mixed bag for Amtrak. The committee did not include a proposal by Rep. John Mica of Florida which would turn the Northeast Corridor over to a third party operator.

--Jackson McQuigg

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