June 11, 2008(Key vote)
Title: Amtrak Reauthorization
Vote Smart's Synopsis:
Vote to pass a bill that reauthorizes Amtrak for fiscal years 2009 through 2013, and authorizes $15.83 billion for Amtrak and for the D.C. area transit.
Requires the Secretary of Transportation to request competitive proposals for the financing, design, construction, and operation of a high-speed rail system achieving less than 2-hour express service between Washington D.C. and New York City (Sec. 502).
Authorizes $1.5 billion to be used within ten years by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority for upkeep and maintenance (Sec. 106).
Authorizes $6.7 billion to be used within 2009 and 2013 for the Northeast Corridor State-of-Good-Repair Plan (Sec. 101).
Authorizes $2.5 billion in capital investment grants to states for increasing ridership and quality of service, mandating that a grant can only pay for up to 80 percent of the project net capital cost (Sec. 301).
Requires the Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration, Amtrak, and the Surface Transportation Board to assess the rail transportation needs of communities and populations that are not well served by other forms of public transportation (Sec. 207).
Authorizes $60 million to be used within 2009 and 2013 for the study and approval of a new rail tunnel alignment in Baltimore, Maryland (Sec. 104).
Requires the Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration to conduct a study on the use of biofuel blends containing ethanol, methanol, or other additives to power locomotives and other vehicles operating on rail tracks (Sec. 219).
Requires Amtrak to evaluate improvements necessary to make existing stations accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities by February 1, 2009 (Sec. 211).