Amtrak Gaining Ridership, Funds

Congress has new faith in the service as reduced fares and an improving economy bring more riders.
February 5, 2004, 11am PST | David Gest
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"More people are riding the rails in Illinois and across the country, a sign that things are looking up for the government's money-losing passenger rail service...'November traffic for the system nationwide set an all-time record since Amtrak began operating in 1971'...Rail's newfound popularity is due, in part, to congestion at the nation's airports where security-related delays make train travel attractive. Competitive fares also help...Congress last week approved a budget that includes a $1.225 billion subsidy, a 20 percent increase, to keep the rail service running this year. 'The federal government cannot ignore Amtrak any longer,' says U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, a long-time rail advocate who pushed for Amtrak funding. 'An effective passenger rail system reduces congestion on our nation's highways and decreases air pollution.'"

Thanks to David Gest

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Published on Thursday, January 29, 2004 in Illinois Times
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