TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — President Donald Trump’s proposed budget would cut Ohio’s Amtrak passenger train service and seriously disadvantage those who rely on it, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown says.
The Republican’s budget calls for the elimination of federal subsidies for long-distance train routes, which would apply to all seven of the Amtrak stations in Ohio and intercity train service, The Blade reported.
The Ohio routes that would be eliminated if Congress approves Trump’s plan include the Lake Shore Limited and Capitol Limited trains that stop in Toledo and Cleveland, as well as the Cardinal train that makes trips through Cincinnati.
The Trump administration says the cuts would help Amtrak run shorter lines more efficiently.
Brown said the cuts would hurt residents throughout the state who rely on the service for work and to visit family and friends.
“Amtrak helps connect our country’s cities and regions, and we should be trying to improve rail service not cut it,” the Ohio Democrat said, adding that he supports increasing Amtrak services in Ohio and will support efforts to ensure Ohioans continue to have access to Amtrak lines.
Joe Cappel, vice president for business development at the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, said no other train operator is available to take over if Amtrak stops running intercity routes. He said the proposed cuts would constrain travel options from Toledo and the region.
In a memo to Amtrak staff last week, company president Charles “Wick” Moorman noted that the proposal would likely be changed.
“Every year, there is vigorous debate on what Congress should fund and what it should not,” Moorman said. “These debates are often long and hard, and they often result in a final outcome that is very different from the initial proposal.”