Last week, Congressman Darren Soto sent a letter to the Federal Railroad Administration to inquire about the recently proposed reduction of Amtrak’s long-distance service starting in October and the newly reduced service on the Silver Star and the Silver Meteor. According to the letter, reductions in routes could potentially impact tourism in Central Florida, making economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic even more difficult.
“According to the most recent state statistics, Florida had a 9.7% drop in domestic travel from January to March 2020; a drop likely to increase once the figures for the second quarter of 2020 are published,” wrote Rep. Soto. “With a local economy based in tourism and hospitality, my district currently faces a 30% unemployment rate. Many of my constituents want to safely return to work so I am proud to see our major attractions open with proper precautions, matching Amtrak’s commitment to new standards with enhanced safety and cleaning measures for travelers’ safety and peace of mind.”
In early March, Congressman Soto hosted a roundtable with Chair Peter DeFazio of the U.S. Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure where they discussed the Invest In America Act which triples the current funding to Amtrak by $29 million for the next 5 years.
“I hope that these proposed service reductions are temporary, and Amtrak service will further boost our economic recovery by providing transportation choices for the millions of visitors coming to Central Florida each year,” Rep. Soto added.
The full letter can be read here.