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The A Train The A Train page 3
Getting there in America: We want Amtrak

 Amtrak is afloat despite a continually fluctuating budget and without any long-term commitment from Washington. A national rail line, supporters argue, serves a vital role in transportation solutions.
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Date published: 3/26/2006


It is unclear whether Amtrak will ever receive any of this money. Without knowing what funding will be available, Amtrak will be unable to make strategic investments, to obtain financing, or even to undertake basic budgeting and planning.

This leaves only $210 million in funding that is actually guaranteed to Amtrak under the president's proposal--a meager amount to sustain a world-class railroad.

President Bush has made his intention to do away with Amtrak quite clear over the years, and 2006 is no different. Rather than listening to public opinion and working with Congress, the president has once again given us a plan that would shut down America's rail service.

The president should understand that a robust variety of transportation options will help us prepare for an uncertain future. Our transportation system must include a strong passenger rail system to protect our investments, our families, our environment, and our safety.

But what we get out of Amtrak depends on what we are willing to put into it.

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COLIN F. PEPPARD is transportation policy coordinator for Friends of the Earth.