Amtrak is seeking 16 percent more in federal funding during Fiscal Year 2015 than it currently receives.
The federally subsidized railroad is asking for $1.62 billion in federal capital and operating support. For Fiscal Year 2014, receives $1.4 billion from the federal government.
Amtrak set a new ridership record in Fiscal Year 2013, carrying 31.6 million passengers. The latest record broke the previous high mark set during Fiscal Year 2012, when the railroad carried 31.2 million passengers.
“Infrastructure deterioration and changes in business patterns have reached a point where something has to change,” Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman said in a statement. “If America wants a modern intercity passenger rail system, the problems of policy and funding must be addressed.”
Added Boardman: “It is clear that Americans want a national system of intercity passenger rail, and will continue to use it in greater numbers if we can provide it,” said Boardman. “Our work over the past decade proves this, but to maintain and improve that system will require both an increase in the overall capital levels and a re al federal commitment to deliver the needed financing.”