Turns out, Amtrak could be another potential victim of the Trump presidency. The national transportation carrier maybe in store for heavy cuts if Trump’s 2018 budget is passed in its current incarnation. If passed, the legislation calls for a 50 percent reduction in Amtrak‘s funding. This drastic reduction in funding would not only end Amtrak service in Florida, but it would also affect service in 23 states.
Amtrak is known for its economical rates, which enables seniors and others to travel on a budget. There are also no luggage fees unless your bags exceed 50 pounds each. It is also easily accessible to those passengers with disabilities and/or require service animals. Amtrak makes it much easier for those who have limitations–physical and financial–to travel and see their loved ones.
In 2016, almost 1 million Floridians rode Amtrak, with more than 100,000 passengers traveling via Tampa Union Station. While this number is impressive, overall ridership across Florida was down 7 percent from 2015.
Riders are concerned about the fate of Amtrak if the proposed budget does go through. Some wonder if the transportation carrier can revive itself, while others are hoping revisions in the budget will save Amtrak service from the chopping block.
The biggest cut will be Amtrak’s Auto Train running from Lorton, Virginia to Sanford, Florida, just outside of Orlando. This unique train carries cars and people, thus avoiding the need to rent a card once you’re in Florida.
If the budget cuts do come into fruition, Amtrak service in Florida will cease to exist entirely.
Many U.S. lawmakers and advocacy groups are scratchingtheir heads over the proposed cuts in Trump’s budget. They are critical of how extreme his cuts would be to a variety of programs and services that benefit scores of Americans, especially those who are most vulnerable and in need of the services. The cuts simply make no sense. Amtrak is just one example of how drastic the proposed cuts could hurt our country and its economy as a whole. Simply put, eliminating Amtrak service in not only Florida, but a total of 23 states, will have crippling effects on national transportation and the tourism industry across the country.
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