Durbin Concerned About Funding For Transit Projects

CHICAGO (CBS) — Speaking at a news conference at Union Station yesterday, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin said he’s concerned what this week has in store for the 3.4 million passengers who ride trains in and out of Chicago.

Congress is expected to take up the federal transportation funding bill this week.

Senator Durbin says the House of Representatives’ version of the Fiscal Year 2012 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Bill would make big cuts.

In fact, Amtrak, he says, stands to lose 60 percent of its operation funds.

Durbin says if that happened, Amtrak would be forced to lay off many of its workers, including some of the 1,800 workers in Illinois.

Durbin says the economic impact would also be felt by more than 110 train equipment manufacturers and contractors doing business with Amtrak in Illinois as well as Chicago hotels, businesses and restaurants that would lose customers.

Durbin says the U.S. infrastructure is falling behind other countries like China and while it would be ideal to add money to infrastructure, he realizes that is impossible right now, given the economy.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Michelle Fiore Reports

  • LOTD

    Amtrak is a failure and has been getting bailed out by the feds for years at billions in cost!!! Typical of Turbin and his demonrat cronies to keep backing a loser and throwing more money at a problem in hopes that it will go away !!!!!

    • tj

      I got news for you idiot LOTD, the congested highway system and the overstressed airline industry have never made the government any money and they are very heavily subsidized.

      • Just the Average Joe

        So what TJ. Loosing money on highways and airlines is not enough for you? The use of Amtrack is not that high, it can be scaled back. If the slow fast train becomes popular, then up the fare. Price a trip to New Orleans from Chicago and compare the fare to the airlines, not even close in time or money.

  • southside

    That’s right. Now Durbin can borrow more money from the Chinese to support this ongoing boondoggle. Durbin’s solution is always to raise taxes. Time to dump Durbin in 2014

  • Taxpayer

    Dear Senator: Please do us all a favor by resigning. That will be the first step towards improvement.

  • franklin808

    Higher gasoline taxes should cover it. I drive a hybrid so it wouldnt affect me too much.

  • Wolf

    It is time to stop wasting all these federal dollars on nonsensical transit programs…in fact why are the legislators and this dysfunctional government not passing a 2012 Budget, the third year without a Constitutionally required budget, …restructure the massively bloated public sector operations which at the federal level alone would save $500 Billion annually (not over 10 years)…looks like the idiot Durbin is out attempting to waste more money and increase taxpayer costs like the recent Durbin fee on Debt Cards as part of the cover up of the government role in the recent financial crisis…Dodd-Frank plus Durbin…

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