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President Biden's Budget for Trains

April 01, 2022

Image Credit: By Adam Schultz / Biden for President, view here

On March 28, President Biden submitted a $5.79 trillion budget plan for fiscal year 2023 that includes significant funding for transit and passenger rail. This comes shortly after Congress passed the FY22 appropriations bill, which released the first slice of funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

President Biden’s FY23 Budget summarized the investment in reliable passenger and freight rail:

“To ensure the safety and performance of the rail industry today and deliver the passenger rail network of the future, the Budget provides a historic $17.9 billion, a $15 billion increase over the 2021 enacted level. This includes $4.7 in additional funding on top of the $13.2 billion already provided by the BIL for 2023. These resources would support $7.4 billion to significantly improve Amtrak’s rolling stock and facilities, and $10.1 billion for existing and new competitive grant programs to support passenger rail modernization and expansion, address critical safety needs, and support the vitality of the freight rail network.”

As a part of the budget process, the U.S. Department of Transportation released their plans for how to use this funding. It includes a list of rail and bus rapid transit projects, existing and new, that would receive significant grant funding. Among the projects is $100 million for the Hudson Tunnel commuter rail project, which would help alleviate a significant bottleneck in the Northeast Corridor, improving current service and expanding capacity. Also included is funding for rail projects in the Bay Area and Los Angeles, which are important to improving connectivity to the high-speed rail network under construction.

The President's budget proposal is just the first step towards Congress passing a FY23 budget, and advocates need to stay engaged to ensure it includes a significant investment in trains.