Supporting Passenger Rail for Our Nations Transportation Future

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release February 28, 2000


Today at the White House, President Clinton met with members of the Board of Directors of Amtrak, including Chairman Governor Tommy Thompson and former Governor Michael Dukakis, former Amtrak Board member Governor Thomas Carper, and Secretary of Transportation Rodney Slater. The President pledged his support for full funding for passenger rail service, and called on Congress to pass his $989 million FY2001 budget request to help Amtrak achieve self-sufficiency, improve and increase the speed of rail service, laying the foundation for high-speed rail corridors. The Clinton-Gore Administration has consistently supported a strong national passenger rail system to help meet our nationís growing transportation needs in the 21st century.

THE IMPORTANCE OF PASSENGER RAIL. As our nation continues its unprecedented economic growth, highways and airports are operating at capacity. Traffic congestion is hampering regional economic growth and contributing to environmental pollution. Passenger rail, including high-speed rail, can play a key role in meeting the nationís transportation needs while providing solutions to the effects of economic growth and urban sprawl. Last fall, a bipartisan group of 26 governors highlighted the increasing need for passenger rail and urged full funding for Amtrak --the only nationwide passenger rail system - in the Presidentís FY2001 budget.

SUPPORTING FULL FUNDING FOR AMTRAK. President Clintonís 2001 budget calls for full funding for Amtrak at the authorized level of $989 million to support capital improvements and intercity passenger rail programs. This request contains an additional $418 billion above last yearís funding levels - an increase of 73 per cent - and provides funds to enhance and expand intercity rail service nationwide through partnerships between Amtrak and state governments. Specifically, the request includes:

Amtrakís continued success. Amtrak operates a 22,000-mile intercity passenger rail system, serving more than 500 communities in 45 states. The corporation is focusing on developing public and private business partnerships, ensuring quality of service, and introducing high-speed rail to achieve its goal of becoming operationally self-sufficient by 2003. Recent successes include the following:

What's New - February 2000

From Digital Divide to Digital Opportunity

Creation of the Presidents Council on the Future of Princeville, North Carolina

Strengthening Cyber Security through Public-Private Partnership

The Clinton-Gore Economic Record

American Heart Month, 2000

Cyber Security Budget Initiatives

FY2001 Climate Change Budget

Climate Change Technology Initiative

Action To Ban Genetic Discrimination In The Federal Workplace

Statement on Low Income Home Energy Assistance

Helping Our Communities Save Precious Lands

Steps to Ensure Full Participation in Census 2000

New Report on Gun Violence in Public Housing

Fact Sheet: Income Eligibility for LIHEAP Assistance February 19, 2000

Clinton-Gore Administration Announces New Actions to Improve Patient Safety

President Clinton Takes Action to Help Low-Income Families to Get on the Road to Work

Helping to Build the New Economy - February 24, 2000

President Clinton Calls for Passage of His Historic FY2001 Native American Initiative - February 25, 2000

International Clean Energy Initiative

The Clinton-Gore Economic Record: Strong and Sustained Growth

Report On Gun Industry

Working to Mitigate the Effects of High Home Heating Oil Prices

New Steps To Reduce Youth Smoking

Supporting Passenger Rail for Our Nations Transportation Future

National African American History Month, 2000

New State-By-State Report Demonstrating Urgent Need for Medicare Reform

President and First Lady | Vice President and Mrs. Gore
Record of Progress | The Briefing Room
Gateway to Government | Contacting the White House | White House for Kids
White House History | White House Tours | Help
Privacy Statement


Site Map

Graphic Version

T H E   W H I T E   H O U S E