Rail Passengers' Statement on Bipartisan Senate Agreement
July 29, 2021
For Immediate Release (21-13)
Contact: Sean Jeans-Gail (202) 320-2723; [email protected]
Bipartisan Bill, While Welcome, Falls Short
Washington, D.C. -- By a vote of 67-32, the U.S. Senate voted yesterday to officially begin work on a $550 billion bipartisan infrastructure bill, which includes $66 billion for rail.
“While any meaningful and sustained increases in passenger rail funding are important and welcome, let’s not be fooled by the headline number. The reality is that what’s really in this bill is $32 billion in additional passenger-rail funding over and above the baseline -- which is a great start, but a long way from the transformative vision put forth by President Biden,” said Rail Passengers President Jim Mathews. “A lot of important work will get done with these funds if they make it to final passage, but this does not pay for the kind of expansion the U.S. needs -- one that allows tens of millions of additional Americans to choose passenger rail as a clean, energy-efficient mode of transportation.”
To read a full breakdown of how the $66 billion will be spent, please read the Rail Passengers' full analysis of yesterday's announcement.
About Rail Passengers Association
The Rail Passengers Association is the oldest and largest national organization serving as a voice for the more than 40 million rail passengers in the U.S. Our mission is to improve and expand conventional intercity and regional passenger train services, support higher speed rail initiatives, increase connectivity among all forms of transportation and ensure safety for our country's trains and passengers. All of this makes communities safer, more accessible, and more productive, improving the lives of everyone who lives, works and plays in towns all across America.
"When [NARP] comes to Washington, you help embolden us in our efforts to continue the progress for passenger rail. And not just on the Northeast Corridor. All over America! High-speed rail, passenger rail is coming to America, thanks to a lot of your efforts! We’re partners in this. ... You are the ones that are going to make this happen. Do not be dissuaded by the naysayers. There are thousands of people all over America who are for passenger rail and you represent the best of what America is about!"
Secretary Ray LaHood, U.S. Department of Transportation
2012 NARP Spring Council Meeting