$ 1.69 billion in relief funding for COVID-19 announced for Amtrak
Pete Buttigieg, US Secretary of Transportation, announced that the huge sum will be provided under the American Rescue Plan Act and that it will provide much-needed relief to Amtrak, the States, commuter railways and employees of the United States. ‘Amtrak.
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) of the United States Department of Transportation is making more than $ 1.69 billion available to Amtrak – the National Railroad Passenger Corporation – to alleviate the effects of COVID-19 on business operations, labor work and the financial partners of the company. Funding is provided under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
After experiencing its best year in 2019, Amtrak has faced an unprecedented drop in ridership since the start of the pandemic, which has led the company to lay off employees and reduce service levels in response to decreases in income. The funding will primarily be used to offset the loss of ticket revenue that Amtrak uses to operate its trains and maintain its infrastructure. Amtrak has started recalling employees on leave and plans to restore long distance service from the end of May 2021.
“The help is there,” Secretary Pete Buttigieg said. “The president’s US bailout is already aimed at workers and the traveling public. This new assistance for Amtrak will allow employees to return to work and restore service to roads across the country at a time when this assistance is urgently needed. “
The FRA has committed $ 969,388,160 for the Northeast Corridor (NEC) and $ 728,611,840 for the national network of state-backed and long-distance intercity passenger links, as mandated by Congress to prevent, prepare and respond to the coronavirus.
The US bailout will provide much needed help to Amtrak, the states, commuter railways and Amtrak employees.
FRA Acting Administrator Amit Bose said: “The timing of this funding is critical to ensure that Amtrak is able to quickly resume service to meet the country’s transportation needs and recover from the crisis. COVID-19 pandemic. For our part, we are committed to transparency and demand improved reporting from Amtrak to show how American Rescue Plan funding is being used effectively and efficiently to meet current challenges. “
In the grant agreement with Amtrak, FRA requires the railway company to report the number of employees on leave recalled to service and to provide a schedule for the scheduled recall of all employees on leave.
Under the financing plan, at least $ 109.8 million will be used to help states and commuter railways meet their share of the capital costs associated with using the NEC.
In addition, $ 174 million is to be used to offset the amounts that states are required to pay for publicly funded covered roads along the national grid. Similar to the aforementioned State and Commuter Rail NEC, this funding will assist States by covering their share of the costs for Amtrak to operate a State-supported service.
The US bailout is providing up to $ 100.8 million for debt relief that Amtrak incurred before March 11, 2021.
The Biden-Harris administration has worked diligently to support the country’s transportation systems that have been hit hard by COVID-19. The US bailout will provide much needed relief to Amtrak, states, commuter railways and Amtrak employees.