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March 30th Briefing Preview

March 24, 2020

What's coming next as we prepare for our virtual Day on the Hill on Tuesday, March 31st

To our Members & friends,

Last week, I sent out an email asking you to take our online pledge to contact your elected officials in Congress as part of our “virtual” advocacy event. I am writing to you today to let you know what is coming next as we prepare for the rail passenger Day on the Hill on Tuesday, March 31st.

On Monday, March 30th at 8pm eastern, the Rail Passengers Association will be hosting a live webinar to cover the most pressing issues affecting passengers today. We’ll talk about the federal response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Fiscal Year 2021 appropriations and what we are asking Congress, the surface transportation reauthorization, and more - everything you will need to know when you email or call your elected offical and their staff. You can see a detailed agenda below.

You can use this tool to find your legislator and schedule a call: CLICK HERE

[We will update this page with the meeting log-in details later this week]

I also wanted to let you know that we've also finalized and uploaded the 2020 passenger rail factsheets that were produced by the Association’s professional staff. These factsheets - which cover the benefits of trains for the economy, the environment, rural areas, and more - will help you educate people on the importance of passenger rail in the U.S.

Agenda for March 30th Legislative Briefing

  • Congressional Response to the Coronavirus: the travel sector was one of the first industries hit by the coronavirus, and it will be one of the last to recover once restrictions on travel and social distancing are lifted. We’ll examine what Congress has already done, and what still needs to be done to ensure that intercity rail and transit agencies are able to fully restore services once Americans start moving again.

  • Stimulus and Infrastructure: once the initial aid packages have been signed into law, the U.S. will begin the longer, harder task of preventing an extended recession. Infrastructure will certainly play a central role, and we’ll look at opportunities for investing in passenger rail and transit as a way to put Americans back to work.

  • FY2021 Appropriations: House and Senate appropriators are currently considering spending levels for Amtrak, passenger rail grant programs, and transit. It’s important that they hear from passengers about the pressing needs of Amtrak and transit systems. We’ll walk through Rail Passengers’ legislative ask and update you on the most up to date information from the Hill.

  • Surface Transportation Reauthorization: Congress is drafting a bill that will control passenger rail funding and policy over the next five years, and shape the passenger rail network for decades.

  • Advocating in Place: this will be a unique Day on the Hill - for veteran advocates and first timers alike. We’ll walk you through best practices for advocating from home, and offer tips to effectively develop and maintain an effective relationship with offices in your state.

Thank you for your time and energy on all of this, and please make sure to take care of yourself. We’ll need all of you for the fights ahead of us.

Joe Aiello | Field Coordinator
Rail Passengers Association