Amtrak receives $1.69 billion for COVID-19 relief

Local News

NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD) — Passenger rail company, Amtrak, is receiving $1.69 billion from the Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration. The money is being funded by President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

After a record 2019, the pandemic forced Amtrak to furlough employees and experience decreases in ticket sales.

With the money, Amtrak plans primarily to offset the loss of ticket revenue that it uses to operate trains and maintain infrastructure. Amtrak has begun recalling furloughed employees and plans to restore long-distance service starting in late May.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg said help is here for Amtrak and other transportation companies.

“This new assistance for Amtrak will get employees back to work and restore service on routes across the country, at a time when this help is urgently needed,” Buttigieg said.

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