Casey: Amtrak deserves more money than House offering

 Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania) is pushing for $1.45 billion in federal funding for Amtrak. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania) is pushing for $1.45 billion in federal funding for Amtrak. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

The Senior U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania says Amtrak needs more money than his colleagues in the House are putting in a proposed budget.

Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania) says he and his senate colleagues want to provide 30 percent more funding for Amtrak than the house leadership wants to, because of the train line’s crumbling infrastructure among other things.

“The proposed number that I support is $1.45 billion. It’s reasonable, it’s consistent with the dollar amount that has been provided in the last several years,” said Casey, speaking at Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station. “Unfortunately the House of Representatives has a different view. They believe that the Amtrak funding would be about a third less than that, $950 million.”

Casey says the rail agency provides 2,600 jobs in Pennsylvania and is a crucial conduit for business.

“Some six million people come through Pennsylvania stations a year We also know the ridership numbers are way up for Amtrak,” he said.

Casey says Amtrak funding matters to riders on SEPTA’s regional rail since many of those trains ride in tracks and bridges maintained by Amtrak.

House leaders have been pushing Amtrak to be more self-sustaining and pressuring states to subsidize lines that have low ridership.

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