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Members in Virginia: Call your legislators and tell them to vote for Amtrak funding

CLEVELAND, February 2 — BLET members in Virginia are encouraged to call, write or email their state legislators, and urge them to fully fund regional Amtrak service by supporting the Inner-City Passenger Rail Operating Capital Fund.

The BLET is working alongside the Teamsters, including the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division, on this issue. The Teamsters will be sending out an Action Alert to members in Virginia urging them to email their legislators.

If the full funding measure is not passed, Amtrak will have to reduce passenger trains in Virginia, because as part of the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 (P.L. 432-110), Congress mandated that the states must fully fund regional Amtrak service in their states, and not merely provide operating subsidies. As a result, legislators in Virginia must vote to fund this service in full during 2013 in order for it to continue at current levels.

Over the past several years, Virginia has been committed to expanding passenger rail in the state and has partnered with Amtrak on several regional lines, which have grown in popularity and ridership. There are currently six Amtrak regional lines in Virginia, with plans for a seventh, and Amtrak service is available to over 70 percent of Virginia’s population.

“If Virginia’s legislators do not act, regional passenger rail in Virginia will be severely impacted,” BLET National President Dennis Pierce said. “With it will be access to this mode of transportation for many Virginians, and also the jobs of numerous BLET members in the state who work for Amtrak. I urge all BLET members in Virginia to call their legislators today.”

To find your legislator, go to:
virginiageneralassembly.gov

Saturday, February 02, 2013
bentley@ble-t.org

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