09.21.20

Daines: We Must Support Amtrak Employees

Urges Senate Leadership for Action to Stop Any Reductions in Service, Staff

U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Steve Daines today urged Senate Leadership to stop the reduction of services and staff for Amtrak along the Hi-Line. Daines stressed the need to protect jobs and the local economy that Amtrak supports in Montana.

“Amtrak’s plan to cut staff by twenty percent, and reduce service on the Empire Builder from daily to tri-weekly on October 19, would decimate rural economies in Montana and leave tens of thousands without daily access to the national transportation network,” Daines wrote. “The Empire Builder provides rural Montanans a safe and reliable mode of transportation to and from major cities, giving them greater access to necessities such as world class healthcare. Additionally, it is critical to our tourism economy, bringing thousands each year to visit our pristine wilderness and National Parks. Further, the reductions in staff could leave thousands without a job in the midst of a once in a generation pandemic.”

To read Daines' letter to Senate Leadership click, HERE.

Background:

On June 24th, 2020, Daines sent a bipartisan letter to the President of Amtrak opposing their plans to terminate one out of every five employees, putting thousands out of work, and reducing the hours of operation of the National network of long distance trains.

Through the CARES Act, Congress provided Amtrak with $1.02 billion to alleviate economic impact, yet, Amtrak’s plan to terminate one out of every five employees would put thousands of Americans out of work at a time when millions of Americans have lost their jobs.

These actions will eliminate thousands of points of connection and dramatically reduce the utility of Amtrak as a transportation provider, irrevocably hurting hundreds of communities and small towns already devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic.