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Rail Industry ‘Ready to Work’ With President-Elect Biden

With Joe Biden preparing to take the oath of office as the 46th president of the United States on Jan. 20, 2021, the Association of American Railroads (AAR), Amtrak and the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) are “ready to work” with him, his Administration and Congress—and help the industry, and the country, recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“On behalf of the entire industry, congratulations to President-Elect Biden on his victory,” said AAR President and CEO Ian Jefferies. “The President-Elect is no stranger to America’s railroads, and the freight rail industry looks forward to working with his new Administration to advance our shared goals, including getting Americans back to work, strengthening the economy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The challenges his new Administration and our nation face are great, but the freight railroads want to be—and must be—part of the solution.”

Amtrak President and CEO Bill Flynn issued the following statement:

“Amtrak looks forward to working with President-elect Biden and Congress. To get the economy moving and help Amtrak and our employees through this unprecedented situation, Congress must act now on pandemic relief and economic stimulus funding which enables Amtrak to recall furloughed employees, restore service frequency on long-distance and state-supported routes, and make investments that will advance critical capital projects such as bridges and tunnels on the Northeast Corridor and new equipment, infrastructure improvements and major station upgrades throughout our network.

“As we look to the future, expanded Amtrak service is essential to decarbonizing our transportation network, which generates roughly 28% of the U.S. annual carbon emissions. With cars and trucks responsible for nearly 82% of those emissions, we need passenger rail alternatives throughout the nation. As we enter our 50th year of service, we stand ready to play an important role in helping our nation recover and grow for the future.”

APTA released this statement:  

“On behalf of the more than 1,500 member organizations of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) and the tens of millions of public transit riders, we welcome and congratulate President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris speaks during the Democratic National Convention at the Chase Center in Wilmington, Del. AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

“President-Elect Biden has been a tireless champion for public transit and passenger rail over his many years of public service, and we look forward to working with his Administration on numerous issues of importance to millions of Americans who rely on bus and rail to get to work, to school, to family, and across this great nation.

“Investment in public transit is a bipartisan issue, and APTA will continue to work with Republicans and Democrats alike in Congress to build a public transportation infrastructure that is the pride of the nation and rebuilds our economy. 

“During the lame-duck session, we look forward to working with Senate Majority Leader McConnell and Speaker Pelosi to pass an immediate COVID-19 relief package to support our transit agencies with at least $32 billion in emergency funding. 

“In addition, the U.S. public transportation industry stands ready to work with President-elect Biden, Vice President-elect Harris, and the new Congress in a unified push to move our country forward and build the public transportation infrastructure of the future.”

This article originally appeared on Railway Age

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