(The Daily Advertiser) – If president Donald Trump’s budget is approved, it could mean the end of all Amtrak service to Lafayette and more than 200 other cities, according to the National Association of Railroad Passengers.
“It’s ironic that President Trump’s first budget proposal undermines the very communities whose economic hardship and sense of isolation from the rest of the country helped propel him into office,” said NARP President Jim Mathews.
“These working class communities — many of them located in the Midwest and the South — were tired of being treated like ‘flyover country.’ But by proposing the elimination of Amtrak’s long distance trains, the Trump Administration does them one worse, cutting a vital service that connects these small town economies to the rest of the U.S. These hard working, small town Americans don’t have airports or Uber to turn to; they depend on these trains,” he said.
“What’s more, these proposed cuts come as President Trump continues to promise that our tax dollars will be invested in rebuilding America’s infrastructure,” Mathews said. “Instead, we have seen an all-out assault on any project — public and private — that would advance passenger rail. These cuts and delays are costing the U.S. thousands of good-paying construction and manufacturing jobs in America’s heartland at this very moment.”
Among other reductions, the White House budget would eliminate all federal funding for Amtrak’s national network trains, which provides the only national network service to 23 states, and the only nearby Amtrak service for 144.6 million Americans.
“When the President proposed a $1 trillion infrastructure proposal, voters expected that would mean more funding for projects like long-distance rail and new subway and light rail construction. These are the kinds of public works that spur private investment, create good jobs, and lead to economic revitalization,” Mathews said. “This budget does exactly the opposite.”
Other Louisiana cities that would lose Amtrak service under Trump’s proposal include Hammond, Lake Charles, New Iberia, New Orleans, Slidell and Schriever.