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Biden budget proposal includes $13.5 billion for transit, increased Amtrak funding

By | May 28, 2021

Fiscal 2022 plan for Department of Transportation includes $625 million to help passenger carrier launch or expand corridor services

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Trains Washington Watch logoWASHINGTON — Transit projects would receive $13.5 billion and Amtrak would get $2.7 billion as part of $88 billion devoted to the U.S. Department of Transportation under the Biden Administration budget proposal submitted to Congress today.

“This budget reflects our Administration’s priorities, and responds to our country’s needs,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a press release. “It will start giving America the tools to get back to work, modernize our infrastructure, combat the climate crisis, and build equity into our transportation system so everyone can get around safely and affordably.”

The transit funding would include $2.5 billion for Capital Investment Grants, a $459 million increase, to accelerate projects already in process and support new projects seeking approval, as well as $550 million for Transit Infrastructure Grants. Of that, $250 million will go to the Zero Emission Bus Program.

The Amtrak funding represents a 35% increase to address track and station improvements, fleet refreshment, and systemwide maintenance. Another $625 million would create a new program, Passenger Rail Improvement, Modernization and Expansion, or PRIME, grants, to develop and expand rail corridors across the nation.

Also, the program previously known as TIGER or BUILD Grants, which is now labeled as RAISE (Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity, would receive $1 billion in funding.

More details on the Transportation Department portion of the budget are available here.

11 thoughts on “Biden budget proposal includes $13.5 billion for transit, increased Amtrak funding

  1. McConnell will sink this just as he sank the formation of a commission to examine the events of 1/6. You would never know he was only the “Minority Leader”. But if we are to shovel significant $$$ into Amtrak, Mayor Pete needs to understand that Amtrak’s current leadership is untrustworthy and arrange for their ouster and replacement by those bring “building blocks and tools”. Richard Anderson instead brought a wrecking ball and we are still trying to recover from that. Somehow I don’t think SecTrans understands this.

  2. The tragedy here is that none of the decision-makers, elected and appointed, including Mayor Pete, know a thing about railroading. And so even the passenger rail-friendlies think William Flynn and Stephen Gardner are the only two in the wide, wide USofA who could possibly run Amtrak. And that seems to include the idiot children at NARP/RPA and its state affiliates.

    1. In Flynn and Gradner, Amtrak has good leaders with a vision for nationwide growth. Congress has intervened to make sure that the National Network is preserved and improved. Hell, real china is coming back to Western trains, and in its reports, Amtrak states plans to use federal funds for Superlunar/Amfleet II replacement as soon as Amfleet I replacement is going.

      You clearly have no clue about the work NARP/RPA has done. There is not a stronger voice for rail advocacy in the country than NARP.

  3. Gardner & Delta “Dick” purged Amtrak of all the institutional knowledge they had to silence any new ideas or opposition to their agenda, Flynn is just part of Gardners Charlie McCarthy act…didn’t even see his lips move did you!

  4. That Congress had “to intervene to make sure the National Network is preserved” is exactly the problem, Mr. Sanchez. Because Stephen Gardner doesn’t want to do that. Stephen Gardner only wants to play in his BOS-NY-WAS sandbox. All those corridor services in this “2035 Vision” are nothing but a Trojan Horse that masks the real intent which is to discontinue the LDs. Furthermore, those new corridor proposals are utterly disingenuous because they need access to the Class Ones to implement. And there isn’t the mainline track capacity on those routes to allow the freights and the passengers to co-exist. So who, Mr. Sanchez, is supposed to pay the big bucks to add, or in most cases restore, that capacity assuming the effected Class One is even agreeable to adding Amtrak service?

  5. Regarding NARP/RPA, they were helpless and ineffectual in stopping Richard Anderson from swinging his wrecking ball. They were utterly blindsided by the July 2020 for all intents and purposes discontinuance of one of the NY-FL trains, well ahead of the threatened move to tri-weekly operation of the rest of the LDs. And then there was the disgraceful discrimination of coach passengers denying them dining car meals that RPA was powerless then, and is still powerless, to reverse. And then there was that pathetic Senate meeting with Flynn/Gardner in late October 2020 to discuss the tri-weekly service. Did RPA do anything to try to get that meeting scheduled BEFORE the frequency cuts? Because meeting after was like locking the barn door after the cows have gotten out and gone over the hill. And all RPA President James Mathews could lamely say is “Mistakes have been made at Amtrak”. Or words to that effect. China back on the western trains diners? Orders for Superliner and Amfleet 2 replacements? Believe it when you see it. But by far the most wrong-headed move by RPA is to strongly support legislation, being advanced by some misguided souls in the US House and Senate, to punish the freight railroads for Amtrak delays due to “freight train interference”. RPA refuses to recognize, because none of their top officers ever worked in train operations in the rail industry, that the problem is NOT priority. The problem IS the lack of mainline track capacity and operating flexibility.

  6. One would think that in a total proposed budget of over $6 trillion, the relatively paltry sums being designated for rail transit and Amtrak could be much higher. The question is where is that $6 trillion actually going to be spent!? It isn’t going to defense either. Defense is slated to get only a 1.7 percent increase bringing it to $715 billion or about 12 percent of the total proposal. My point is that massive sums of money are slated to go somewhere, but not to anything useful. You can be assured that it won’t be spent on fossil fuels. Of course, Iran and the Palestinian/Hamas terrorists will get their share. That’s why the budget proposal is DOA in Congress. It has nothing to do with McConnell wielding undue power. It’s just an excessive proposal for questionable purposes.

  7. Amtrak, was a very good way to keep passenger service available, and reading the History, it wasn’t expected to last. However, people like traveling by train. Today, it offers an alternative to heavily traveled roads, and airplane packed-up tight and airports with crowded travelers. Luggage, extra’s cost extra!
    All rail service, requires government funding, around the world. Ours, has very little priority. Then we get CEO’s who only want to discourage people from traveling long distance by rail. They also discourage tourist that simply want to go somewhere at a moments notice, by charging them extra. With two weeks needed to get a good fare, who want to go sightseeing on a rainy day?
    Governments, are not known to act fast on anything, unless its a pay raise for themselves or it keeps them in office. Rail travel, is not one of them!
    The Billions proposed by the democrats is enough to give anyone sticker shock. After all, it is our money they are spending.

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