HARTFORD, CT – U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a member of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies, on Wednesday applauded the inclusion of rail funding in the American Jobs Plan as laid out by the Biden administration this morning:
“The rail funding proposed in President Biden’s American Jobs Plan is a big deal for Connecticut. Modernizing the Northeast Corridor is critical to our state’s economic competitiveness and will help relieve congestion from our highways and roads. The American Jobs Plan also includes this funding over several years, which means states like Connecticut can finally plan long-term when it comes to modernizing our rail system. Improving passenger rail service should be a top priority as we bring our infrastructure into the 21st century, and I look forward to passing a bill that ensures this funding goes to the areas that need investment the most, including the Northeast Corridor,” said Murphy.
The American Jobs Plan includes:
· $85 billion to modernize existing transit and help agencies expand to meet rider demand. This investment will double federal funding for public transit. In addition, these improvements will reduce service delays and disruptions that discourage transit use, and will take cars off the road, reducing congestion around the state; and
· $80 billion to address Amtrak’s repair backlog, including the high traffic Northeast Corridor, which will improve existing corridors as well as connect new city pairs, enhance grant and loan programs, improve efficiency, and spur electrification.
Prior to the pandemic, 800,000 passengers took a train on the Northeast Corridor (NEC) a day. Congress provides just $700 million annually for the NEC, allowing the maintenance backlog to climb to $31 billion and the funding as proposed in the American Jobs Plan would address this important issue. This week, Murphy held a roundtable in Greenwich touting federal transportation funding in the American Rescue Plan for Connecticut and called for the Biden administration to support long-term funding in an infrastructure package to modernize America’s rail system. Last week, Murphy and U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) led a group of senators from states along the Northeast Corridor (NEC), including U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), in a letter urging President Biden to support $55 billion in long-term funding for passenger rail infrastructure in order to repair the NEC rail network.