Funding for Amtrak will keep our state moving ahead

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The Amtrak Pennsylvanian remains a major means of transportation between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia and its loss would impact thousands of travelers who rely on it.

Without passenger rail service, traveling between our state's two major cities would be increasingly difficult for anyone without a car -- stranding people of modest incomes, students looking to get between home and college and time-sensitive business people who understand the advantage of working during a commute.

Fortunately, Gov. Tom Corbett and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation went into action when Amtrak announced that it would no longer fund the route and would need the state to fund the entirety of the service. They worked with Amtrak to reach a compromise whereby both the state and the federal governments fund the service at a level that both could sustain.

The $3.8 million Gov. Corbett has committed toward saving Pittsburgh's rail link is money wisely invested, preserving transportation options and keeping Pittsburgh, the state's second major city, more fully connected. Between here and Harrisburg, more than 200,000 people rely on the Pennsylvanian as their connection to other parts of the commonwealth and the nation.

It is clear that the final comprehensive, sufficient and sustainable funding package for transportation that will be put forward for a vote in the General Assembly must include funding for Amtrak as the governor's proposal now does.

It's more important than ever that our legislators work in a bipartisan manner to pass transportation funding that will keep our commonwealth and our citizens moving ahead.

Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce



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