Rail Passengers' Statement on Bipartisan Senate Agreement
July 29, 2021
For Immediate Release (21-13)
Contact: Sean Jeans-Gail (202) 320-2723; [email protected]
Bipartisan Bill, While Welcome, Falls Short
Washington, D.C. -- By a vote of 67-32, the U.S. Senate voted yesterday to officially begin work on a $550 billion bipartisan infrastructure bill, which includes $66 billion for rail.
“While any meaningful and sustained increases in passenger rail funding are important and welcome, let’s not be fooled by the headline number. The reality is that what’s really in this bill is $32 billion in additional passenger-rail funding over and above the baseline -- which is a great start, but a long way from the transformative vision put forth by President Biden,” said Rail Passengers President Jim Mathews. “A lot of important work will get done with these funds if they make it to final passage, but this does not pay for the kind of expansion the U.S. needs -- one that allows tens of millions of additional Americans to choose passenger rail as a clean, energy-efficient mode of transportation.”
To read a full breakdown of how the $66 billion will be spent, please read the Rail Passengers' full analysis of yesterday's announcement.
About Rail Passengers Association
The Rail Passengers Association is the oldest and largest national organization serving as a voice for the more than 40 million rail passengers in the U.S. Our mission is to improve and expand conventional intercity and regional passenger train services, support higher speed rail initiatives, increase connectivity among all forms of transportation and ensure safety for our country's trains and passengers. All of this makes communities safer, more accessible, and more productive, improving the lives of everyone who lives, works and plays in towns all across America.
"The National Association of Railroad Passengers has done yeoman work over the years and in fact if it weren’t for NARP, I'd be surprised if Amtrak were still in possession of as a large a network as they have. So they've done good work, they're very good on the factual case."
Robert Gallamore, Director of Transportation Center at Northwestern University and former Federal Railroad Administration official, Director of Transportation Center at Northwestern University
November 17, 2005, on The Leonard Lopate Show (with guest host Chris Bannon), WNYC New York.