Amtrak Seeks $1.8B in FY 2017

In a five year improvement plan, Amtrak is seeking $1.8 billion from Congress for fiscal year 2017.

The request includes $920 million for capital expenditures, $650 million for operating expenses and $263.7 million in federal discretionary grant programs authorized under the new surface transportation bill that Congress approved last year.

Amtrak logoThe budget request would cover continued efforts to improve service and safety, funding for implementation of positive train control, an expansion of Wi-Fi service throughout Amtrak’s network, and costs related to the Hudson River tunnel project.

“Amtrak’s capital needs are pressing. Outdated and inadequate infrastructure and equipment must be replaced to sustain and grow both the Amtrak system and the economy it supports,” Amtrak CEO Joseph Boardman wrote in a letter to accompany the budget request.

Boardman said Amtrak’s ridership last year exceeded 30 million for the fifth consecutive year, with ridership records set on the Northeast Corridor and two other services.

At $2.185 billion, ticket revenue was slightly less than the previous year.

Noting that Amtrak’s cost recovery was about 90 percent for the second consecutive year, Boardman said ticket revenue was “enough, when combined with our efforts to control costs, to sustain our financial performance.”

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