RAIL ISSUES

WHEREAS, America needs a balanced transportation system that provides alternatives for travelers; and

WHEREAS, passenger rail transportation provides an important means to help alleviate growing highway and airport congestion; and

WHEREAS, many state and local governments already see passenger rail service as an essential element necessary to assure future mobility for their citizens; and

WHEREAS, current federal funding levels for investment in rail passenger projects are inadequate to support the growing demand for improvement and expansion of rail passenger services; and

WHEREAS, increased federal funding is necessary to foster the growth of all modes of passenger rail and public transportation; and

WHEREAS, the federal government needs to work in partnership with state and local agencies to increase the country's investment in rail passenger services; and

WHEREAS, the federal government must, in the near term, provide sufficient funding to Amtrak to assure the continuation of our national passenger rail network; and

WHEREAS, many commuter rail operations rely upon Amtrak facilities and contract services, and such arrangements must continue without disruption; and

WHEREAS, the current Amtrak system is an essential network that supports the development and current operations of intercity rail, high-speed rail, commuter rail, and other passenger rail services; and

WHEREAS, any changes to Amtrak's institutional structure must protect the integrity of this network, as well as honor existing contracts, commitments and financial arrangements, including provisions of existing contract services to some commuter railroads,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that The U.S. Conference of Mayors calls upon the Administration and Congress to support increased investment in the overall growth of passenger rail, which includes intercity rail, regional high-speed rail, commuter rail, heavy rail, light rail, and other passenger rail transit systems; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Conference urges Congress and the Administration to support investment in Amtrak, while at the same time, give full consideration to the impact that any legislation on Amtrak's institutional structure may have on commuter rail services and on public transportation services generally.