House T&I Committee Introduces Intercity Passenger Rail Reauthorization
The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee introduced the Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act of 2014 yesterday. If passed, it would make several small changes and set suggested funding levels for the High-Speed and Intercity Rail Program.
This is not a good bill.
It would authorize Amtrak and other intercity passenger rail service for the next five years at a piddling $1.8 billion per year. That means another five years of declining service when the system should be rapidly expanding.
The Federal Railroad Administration has established that $5 billion per year is the minimum required to grow the system. They included these critical investments in the proposed GROW America Act. The American Public Transportation Association has shown that $9.5 billion is needed to support the current project pipeline and continue Amtrak’s funding.
The National Association of Railroad Passengers has done an analysis of the policy changes suggested by the bill.