Boardman: Passenger rail service indispensable to helping meet national goal of competitiveness

Passenger rail service is “indispensable to helping the United States meet our national goals of competitiveness, job creation and economic growth,” Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman said last week.

The head of Amtrak also said “a predictable and dedicated federal funding source for passenger rail is the right policy for America.” Boardman made his comments in response to a new transportation proposal.

“A multi-year planning and construction program for high-performing, high-capacity passenger rail will connect key regions and unleash our nation’s economic potential now trapped by clogged highways and airports,” Boardman said. “Nowhere is the connection between passenger rail and economic growth stronger than in the Northeast Corridor, where demand for rail service is at record levels, but dependent on century old infrastructure. A world-class economy needs a world-class transportation system and passenger rail is the solution that our global competitors have already figured out.

“It is entirely appropriate that a portion of any revenue generated from tax reform be dedicated for improving passenger rail,” Boardman added. “Just as a modern and efficient tax code is important to business competitiveness, so too, is a modern and efficient national passenger rail network.”