The fiscal year 2020 budget recently submitted by the Trump administration to Congress calls for a 24 per cent reduction in funding for Amtrak, the US quasi-public national passenger railroad corporation.
Streetsblog USA reports that the Trump budget also reduces funding for other transit programmes by 39 per cent.
The latter cuts could affect projects that require federal matching funds, such as Phoenix’s South Central Light Rail and Indianapolis’ Red Line bus rapid transit programmes.
The Amtrak budget would be reduced by $455 million, with long-distance bus routes replacing long-haul train service.
Amtrak loses more than half a billion dollars on long-distance train service each year; the Trump administration is proposing to eliminate the federal subsidies that keep those trains running.
Even the parallel budget plan submitted by Amtrak itself calls for $141 million less than Congress authorized in 2019, enotrans.org reports.
Congress, however, has the ultimate say in how taxpayer money shall be spent, so both the Trump and Amtrak budget proposals are strictly advisory in nature. In recent years, Congress has appropriated more money for Amtrak than requested by the administration.