Amtrak service across Missouri could be reduced under GOP-backed budget plan | Politics

A day after the cut was floated by House Budget Committee Chairman Cody Smith, R-Carthage, the head of MoDOT pledged to work to keep two trains intact.“As the transportation agency, MoDOT supports all mobility options for travelers and supports two trains per day, thus giving a round-trip option between Kansas City and St. Louis. State-sponsored Amtrak service in Missouri, like in other states, is subject to legislative appropriation and gubernatorial approval. As the budget is discussed, MoDOT will continue to provide information to the Legislature on the value of this transportation option for Missourians,” MoDOT Director Patrick McKenna said.Lawmakers and governors have routinely short-changed funding for Amtrak. In 2017, for example, former Gov. Eric Greitens cut $500,000 in funding for the service.More than a year ago, the station in a historic, state-owned building in Jefferson City had to be closed for structural purposes. Passengers now wait for trains in a portable building, but Gov. Mike Parson’s administration wants the temporary station to be moved.The state also hasn’t paid its full share for the trains since at least 2010 and owes an estimated $3 million. It would have been more, but some of the so-called “arrears” have been paid down using federal pandemic relief dollars.

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