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.

Amtrak's Best Hope Lies With Congress; Keep Speaking Up!

29 Jul 2020 4:29 PM | Jackson McQuigg (Administrator)

If there ever was a time to speak up to your elected officials, it's right now.

Here's why.

Last week, Amtrak's CEO William Flynn appeared on CBS This Morning to repeat Amtrak's threat to cut the frequency of the operation of its long distance trains to 3 times per week.

During the interview, he apparently forgot to mention that as of July 6, Amtrak already did that to cities in Florida like Tampa, Okeechobee, and Lakeland, as well as cities in Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina when the Silver service trains were hacked. These are changes which were made without any notice to affected cities or stakeholder input.

While it is now an historical fact that Amtrak has cut its Florida service by 50%, we must act now to prevent the cuts from becoming permanent and to protect the jobs of dedicated Amtrak employees.

Amtrak is now before the Senate seeking bailout money. As we've stated before, Amtrak has been hit hard by the coronavirus and needs emergency funds. We support those efforts.

However, the only way to ensure that any emergency funds from Congress go to help preserve the national network is to make sure that Congress provides the bailout money with "strings" attached. 

Please ask our elected officials to support daily operation of Amtrak routes as they existed in FY 2019. This would restore the Florida service to its pre-July 6 levels.

And be specific that you mean trains. Not Thruway bus substitutions. 

  • To contact Senator Marco Rubio, click here. 
  • To contact Senator Rick Scott, click here.
  • To locate and contact your Member of Congress, click here.

It will also be helpful to contact your local elected officials, Chambers of Commerce, Visitors and Convention Bureaus, and Governor Ron DeSantis

If you have already written and/or called your elected officials, please do so again. Contacting our U.S. Senators is especially important. 

There are no doubts about it now: Amtrak has decided that it wants to focus on the Northeast Corridor and a few select other corridors. It intends to shrink its footprint in the rest of the country.

To prevent this, we have to speak up now!

--Steve Sayles and Jackson McQuigg

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