Amtrak recovers more of its operating expenses from ticket revenue than any other railroad in the nation.
Amtrak recently sent its fiscal year 2014 budget to Congress, which outlined the incredible progress the railroad has made in recent years. Amtrak makes critical connections across the country, moving nearly one million people on commuter and intercity rail services each day, and breaking annual ridership records in nine out of the last ten years. In March 2013, Amtrak moved more passenger than any other month in its history and is on pace to break another all-time annual ridership record. Amtrak has also become more efficient and self-sufficient, covering 88% of its operating costs with ticket fares and other non-federal revenue. In 2012, ticket sales reached a record $2 billion. However, Amtrak continues to need financial support from the federal government, particularly for capital expenses to maintain aging infrastructure concentrated on the Northeast Corridor and upgrade its fleet of trains.
In 2014, Amtrak is requesting $373 million for operating support, more than 20% less than Congress appropriated last year and 34% less than was appropriated in 2010. On the capital side of the ledger, Amtrak is requesting just over $2 billion.
We need your help to send the message to Washington that Americans want a strong national passenger rail network. Please take a moment to call or write your representatives in Congress and ask them to fully fund Amtrak's budget request. Visit www.govtrack.us/congress/members to find contact information for your elected officials. Then, make a call or write an email asking them to sign on to a letter of support for Amtrak's budget request that is being circulated by Senator Frank Lautenberg.