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Amtrak Funding Update
November 13, 2003, Update on the House-Senate Conference Committee on Fiscal 2004 Transportation Bill

TRAC Members & Associates--

This message arrived today from NARP.  It is good news, not great news.  The lack of recognition of the need for capital investment in our nation's rail system continues.  However, it appears the national system will continue to creak along for another year.

I would like to thank all of you who contacted your congressman via phone, fax, email and letter.  I would also like to thank those of you who helped TRAC with our mailing expenses by contributing during our two letter-writing campaigns to help save Amtrak during 2003.  Everyone of you helped to make a difference.

Take a rest for now.  We will gear up again soon to work for better rail service with the new California state administration, for a sensible high-speed rail plan for California, and (hopefully not but inevitably) for adequate funding for Amtrak's 2005 budget.

From NARP:

To NARP Members, November 13, 2003-

Very early this morning, the House-Senate Conference Committee on the Fiscal 2004 Transportation Bill was completed. Amtrak will be funded at a level of $1.225 billion. That∂s above the Bush/House shutdown figure of $900 million‹but below the Senate figure of $1.346 billion and Amtrak∂s request of $1.8 billion. It appears that repayment of the 2002 $100 million DOT loan will be deferred another year.

In an Amtrak release today, President David Gunn said, ∏This number will allow us to continue to operate the national system. However, we will have to assess the impact of this funding level on our current budget over the next month or so.∑

The bill now returns to both chambers for approval and then to the President∂s desk for signature. Passage should occur very quickly.

Thank you to all NARP members who contacted their elected representatives in this effort! We will update you with more specific details about the bill when they become available to us.

-David Johnson

 Transportation Associate


Allan Miller 5449 Alan C. Miller
Executive Director
Train Riders Association of California

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