Thursday, October 02, 2008

"Amtrak bill may ease local commutes"

Article in the website: "Amtrak bill may ease local commutes"  about the U.S. Senate approving a railroad safety and funding bill that features improvements to the train tracks that carry many thousands of commuters into and out of New York City every day.

The bill cleared in a 74-24 vote Wednesday night.

The bill's passage is a victory for Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., a chief sponsor who has annually battled efforts by the Bush administration to wean Amtrak off public subsidies and privatize some operations. "This is a chance to make a huge difference in the way we travel in this country," Lautenberg said before the vote. He said travelers deserve an option between increasingly unreliable planes and the high cost of gasoline for travel between major cities.

President Bush had threatened to veto a House version of the Amtrak bill that passed in June, but the threat was not repeated last week when a more expansive bill that also included railroad safety measures passed the House on a unanimous voice vote.

Over the next five years, Amtrak would receive $2.9 billion in operating subsidies and $5.3 billion for capital projects such as new cars, rehabilitated bridges and other upgrades.

A key benefit for Philly commuters going to NYC is the requirement that the Northeast Corridor between Washington and Boston be upgraded to a "state of good repair." Signal failures and stuck bridges were frequently blamed for delays on the corridor in recent years.


  • Anything in the bill to reduce/offset the absurd prices amtrak charges for monthly commuters on the NEC? As of today 10/3 it's $1152 for a monthly between philly and nyc. Absurd..but njtransit and septa poor service make me consider the option at least once a week.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:40 AM, October 03, 2008  

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