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Rail group says Amtrak cuts will cost Kansas

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Published: Sep. 24, 2020 at 7:46 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A dramatic drop in passengers has Amtrak poised to make some costly cuts.

The Rail Passengers Association says their research shows that Amtrak’s planned cuts will heavily affect at least 30 states, including an annual $8 million impact on Kansas' economy. The group says the impact will come in the form of direct revenue loss and long-term impacts like job loss and travel and supply disruption.

“Further analysis is needed," a release from Rail Passengers said, "but our first pass suggests Amtrak’s 3x service plan would cost Kansas' economy $8.1 million annually, driven by a loss of roughly 30,546 passengers. That includes $3.3 million in direct losses plus another $4.8 million in indirect losses, which accounts for job losses and economic disruption in those sectors supported by this travel.”

Rail Passenger encourages Americans to contact Congress and urge them to provide aid for rail transit in a similar fashion to the air service funding they have provided.

“We’ve already seen airports and air service receive $14 billion in this week’s one-year extension of transportation law and airline CEOs are asking for another $28 billion in stimulus, but nothing for rail,” Rail Passengers President and CEO Jim Mathews said. “Congress must provide Amtrak relief funds and include protections for passengers, Amtrak-served communities, and Amtrak workers.”

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