By Railfan & Railroad Staff
WASHINGTON — Congressional leaders have agreed on a long-awaited federal stimulus package to boost the economy still reeling from the pandemic. Included in the $900 billion deal is $14 billion for transit agencies and $1 billion for Amtrak. Congressional leaders announced that they had made a deal late Sunday and they are expected to vote on it this week.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, transit agencies have been reeling from depressed ridership and revenue. New York MTA CEO and Chairman Pat Foye said the bailout will prevent the agency from having to make drastic cuts to its system.
“We are relieved and thankful to see Congress pass another coronavirus relief bill that includes $4 billion in federal relief for the MTA,” he said. “The crucial funding will allow us to get through 2021 without devastating service cuts and layoffs of over 9,000 colleagues.”
Amtrak officials had previously asked for $4.9 billion to avoid additional furloughs and service cuts. Long-distance trains have already been reduced to three days a week and some have said state-supported services could be next.
Airlines were slated to receive $16 billion in the bill.