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TRANSPORTATION AND COMMUNICATIONS

IN SUPPORT OF ACTIONS ENSURING THE FUTURE OF PASSENGER RAIL

WHEREAS, The U.S. Conference of Mayors affirms the following five general principles for intercity passenger rail service to succeed:

• Rail Passenger service is essential to a comprehensive passenger transportation system;

• Amtrak is a critical component of a national intermodal transportation system;

• Amtrak must receive a dedicated source of federal capital funding;

• Amtrak should continue to build partnerships with public and private entities; and

• Amtrak should have the flexibility to operate like a business.

WHEREAS, the Conference recognizes that Amtrak is committed to achieving operational self-sufficiency while providing a world-class national passenger system as evidenced by the following:

• Amtrak achieved the greatest ridership increase in a decade with a 4.5% increase in ridership in Fiscal Year 1998;

• Amtrak’s passenger revenue topped the $1 billion level for the first time in the corporation’s 27-year history in Fiscal Year 1998;

• Amtrak is aggressively pursuing commercial ventures such as mail and express and insourcing to produce additional income for the corporation;

• Amtrak will introduce High-Speed Rail to the Northeast Corridor in 1999 and is working to develop High-Speed Rail for five other regions of the country; and

• Amtrak has indicated its dedication to achieve operational self-sufficiency through publication of its market-driven Strategic Business Plan for Fiscal Year 1999-2002.

WHEREAS, the Conference believes the following actions should be taken by Congress to ensure adequate capital funding:

• Congress appropriate adequate capital resources to enable Amtrak to achieve operational self-sufficiency by FY 2003; and

• Congress provide Amtrak with the same capital maintenance criteria for its federally appropriated capital funds that highways, aviation and transit have; and

• Congress provide states with the right to spend a portion of their federal transportation allocation on intercity rail if they so choose.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that The United States Conference of Mayors do hereby embrace the five principles for a successful intercity passenger rail service, applauds Amtrak’s commitment to achieving operational self sufficiency and urges the Congress to proceed expeditiously to adopt the above noted legislative recommendations regarding capital funding that will allow Amtrak to serve as a viable component of a 21st Century United States Transportation System.

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