The federal subsidy for Amtrak has dropped to 12 percent of operating costs - about $466 million a year, said Amtrak president Joseph Boardman. But Amtrak needs more federal money for capital costs, such as new vehicles, bridges, signals and other equipment, he said.
Boardman also told a House subcommittee Tuesday that Amtrak's biggest money-losers, its long-distance routes, are important to rural and elderly populations who are losing bus and air service.
Amtrak carried a record 31.2 million passengers in the fiscal year that ended last Sept. 30. - Paul Nussbaum