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U.S. SEN. SPECTER CHALLENGES AMTRAK'S DECISION TO REDUCE TRAIN SERVICE BETWEEN HARRISBURG AND PHILADELPHIA

 WASHINGTON, Oct. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- In an effort to prevent the scheduled reduction in train service between Harrisburg and Philadelphia, U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) today sent a letter to Amtrak Chairman Graham Claytor Jr., challenging Amtrak's proposed service reductions. A partial text of his letter follows:
 "I am writing to convey serious concerns of mine and those of constituents who have recently contacted me regarding Amtrak's proposed service reductions between Harrisburg and Philadelphia. ...
 "The service between the Commonwealth's largest city and the state capital is particularly critical for a large number of daily and weekly commuters as well as a significant feeder for the Northeast Corridor. As the Senate transportation appropriations report states, such reductions in service come at a time when State and regional transportation planners are looking to Amtrak -- as a means of reducing highway and airport congestions and complying with air quality standards. This situation could not be more evident than between Philadelphia and Harrisburg.
 "While I support Amtrak's efforts to provide cost-efficient service to the public, I question the wisdom of a proposal, to drastically reduce service between Philadelphia and Harrisburg. Many who have contacted my office believe that existing services do not realize maximum ridership. Before any consideration is given to service reductions, Amtrak should conduct a thorough market analysis of its riders to ensure maximum ridership and revenues. ...
 "In making the announcement on September 30, 1993, Amtrak acknowledged that the service reductions are necessary due to a projected budget shortfall of $30 million in fiscal year 1994. I would point out, however, that the Senate's funding level of $559.6 million is a substantial increase above fiscal year 1993 levels and the highest since 1984. I am hopeful that these funding levels represent a trend for continued support for Amtrak.
 "I understand that the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is proposing a major rail passenger initiative which would emphasize improved services and investment in Amtrak. However, this plan cannot progress without assistance from Amtrak. Accordingly, I urge that you reconsider your proposal for reduced service to facilitate further discussions with the Commonwealth. ..."
 /delval/
 -0- 10/15/93
 /CONTACT: Susan Lamontagne of Sen. Arlen Specter's office, 202-224-9031/


CO: Amtrak ST: Pennsylvania IN: TRN SU:

MJ-CC -- PH010 -- 2730 10/15/93 12:03 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Article Type:Calendar
Date:Oct 15, 1993
Words:378
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