Amtrak’s commitment to meeting the needs of future generations has never been stronger. Our vision is focused on connecting communities, growing jobs, improving congestion, modernizing infrastructure, and addressing the environmental challenges of today and tomorrow.
Expanding passenger rail service will generate $30 billion in direct investments in our communities and reduce carbon emissions by nearly 50% when compared to automobile travel. In addition to the economic benefit and positive impact on our environment, investing in Amtrak benefits everyday Americans and their families. Within 15 years, an estimated 550,000 skilled labor jobs will be created in communities served through the construction, operation, maintenance and associated economic activity generated by Amtrak.
Investment in passenger rail will help Amtrak riders as well as people and goods traveling by road. To many Americans, highway congestion is the most problematic of all transportation issues. In recent decades, congestion has grown in most urban areas where the average commuter loses more than 40 hours per year (the equivalent of a week of vacation) to highway traffic delays. Without improving our passenger rail system, congestion and delays experienced by automobile and air travelers today will only get worse.
Amtrak also will have a meaningful impact in addressing inequalities in America’s public transit system. Expansion to the South and Southwest – where a significant portion of the populations served are low-income households – will bring rail access to underserved communities. Millions of people, including large populations of people of color, do not have access to a reliable, fast, sustainable, and affordable transportation option. This is just not fair or equitable. Amtrak will enhance opportunities by utilizing our supplier diversity programs to support small businesses, particularly minority-owned businesses, and encourage equity.
As the nation works to grow the economy, address social justice, and improve environmental sustainability – passenger rail is poised to be a catalyst for expansion by connecting what’s important – our people and our cities.