Stung by three deadly crashes in two months, Amtrak would lose half its federal funds under Trump budget

Bloomberg

President Donald Trump is proposing to cut in half the federal subsidy for Amtrak, the troubled national passenger rail service that has experienced three fatal crashes in the past two months.

Under a spending plan released Monday, the Trump administration proposed cutting the federal contribution from $1.495 billion to $738 million in the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1.

Revenue on Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor — including Boston, New York and Washington — has been strong in recent years, according to the budget. But the nation’s passenger rail service continues to subsidize money-losing long-distance routes elsewhere in the country.

To lower the burden on the federal budget, the administration proposes that states begin sharing the costs of Amtrak service. “This would make states more equal partners with the federal government, and would strengthen the responsiveness of Amtrak to the communities they serve,” the budget said.

Lawmakers didn’t enact a similar request for Amtrak cuts by the Trump administration last year and there’s little indication Congress will be any more deferential to the spending plan issued Monday.

The proposal comes as Amtrak attempts to deal with three fatal accidents since December.