Durbin: House bill would cut Amtrak funding

October 16, 2011 4:11:19 PM PDT
Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin says at a time when Amtrak is carrying a record number of passengers, a bill in the U.S. House would cut funding by 60 percent.

On Sunday at Union Station, He called the measure "a short sighted effort."

Durbin says in addition to cutting funds, the bill would prevent Amtrak from using federal money to help states pay for state-supported routes. He says that includes trains from Chicago to places such as St. Louis, Carbondale and Quincy.

Durbin explained the possible impact on downstate communities: "Fewer students at the colleges and universities; less traffic in terms of business; fewer opportunities for people who want to save money and travel by Amtrak all across this state and up to the great city of Chicago."

Durbin says that Amtrak carried more than 30 million passengers during fiscal year 2011.