Amtrak is presented with the potential for two futures: In one is a $25 billion expansion to update national intercity rail with contemporary patterns of settlement. In the other is fiscal crisis and continued service cuts.
The realities of the coronavirus are most obvious in the declining ridership, and revenues, on public transit in the United States, but it's not enough to shut down public transit when so many people depend on safe, healthy service.
Public transit agencies are responding to declining ridership during the Coronavirus outbreak by reducing service. But the right balance between safe, reliable, and sustainable will be hard to calibrate in these difficult times.