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Amtrak7

Stimulus Money for Operations Possible

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According to NARP News, it is possible that up to 10% of ARRA money may be used to fund operating costs if faced with a budgetary crisis.

 

Passenger train and mass transit advocates are pressing Congressional House leaders to include Senate-passed language that would allow transit agencies to use Recovery Act funds to cover operating-costs. The provision was part of the Senate version of the supplemental spending bill for the Iraq and Afghanistan war. With city, municipal, and state operating budgets being slashed, many agencies are being forced to consider cutting staff and service, leaving them unable to handle the dramatic increases in ridership. While ARRA was written to fund only new construction, this amendment would allow as much as 10% of the funding from the stimulus bill to go towards agencies’ salaries and maintenance, and offer a lifeline to struggling transit organizations.

House and Senate conferees will to hash out the differences in the bill, and passenger train and transit advocates are already fighting for the inclusion of this language. A letter written by Peter DeFazio (D-OR), chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Highways and Transit Subcommittee, and signed by 26 other Representatives, was sent out to House, saying “In order to maintain consistence and reliable service for riders, access to operations assistance in these tough economic times is crucial.”

http://www.narprail.org/cms/index.php/hotline/more/hotline_607/

 

I hope that this passes!

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