Amtrak Funding Bill Passes

The Senate has passed a bill that will allocate $2.5 billion for Amtrak annually, with money going to operation, repairs, and new safety measures.
October 2, 2008, 2pm PDT | Judy Chang
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"The legislation will now proceed to the White House for President Bush's signature. The president threatened to veto a previous Amtrak funding bill earlier this year. But the bill approved Wednesday passed by a margin large enough in both chambers to suggest there is enough support in Congress to overcome a veto.

Funding for the legislation requires further congressional action, which is not likely to happen before the end of the year."

"Lawmakers have long debated whether taxpayers should continue to subsidize the nation's intercity passenger rail network, which ran a $1 billion deficit in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2007. But momentum has grown in Congress to invest more in passenger rail service amid concerns over rising gas prices, climate change and traffic congestion.

That momentum comes as more and more Americans are turning to trains to escape high gas prices. Amtrak set another record in the year that ended Tuesday with more than 28 million riders, preliminary figures show, a double-digit percentage increase over the previous year."

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Published on Thursday, October 2, 2008 in The Wall Street Journal
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