The proposal cuts funding for Amtrak’s long-distance routes, which includes all three routes in Florida. It would also stymie ongoing efforts to restore service in Florida’s Panhandle and along the Gulf Coast. The budget cuts drew quick criticism from Florida’s Democratic Senator.
“This just doesn’t make sense,” said U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL). “Eliminating Amtrak service in Florida not only affects the nearly one million Floridians who ride the train each year, it would have a real impact on our tourism-driven economy by making it harder for folks to come visit our state.”
More than 950,000 Floridians rode Amtrak during the last fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30, 2016.
The president’s budget would eliminate all three routes in Florida, including:
- The Auto train, which runs daily from Lorton, VA to Sanford, FL;
- The Silver Meteor, which runs daily from Miami to Orlando to New York; and
- The Silver Star, which runs daily from Miami to Tampa to Orlando to New York.