Amtrak prepares for gradual restart of operations

3 June 2020 (Last Updated June 3rd, 2020 13:23)

US-based passenger railroad service Amtrak has implemented additional cleanliness and convenience measures for passengers, as the country prepares to reopen after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Amtrak prepares for gradual restart of operations
Amtrak has introduced contactless ticketing to reduce the spread of Covid-19. Credit: Amtrak.

US-based passenger railroad service Amtrak has implemented additional cleanliness and convenience measures for passengers, as the country prepares to reopen after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Amtrak president and CEO Bill Flynn said: “Now more than ever, we stand ready to play a critical role as our nation recovers.

“We are doing everything we can to offer vital transportation services in a way that prioritises employee and customer safety and well-being.”

Amtrak will continue is operations as an essential service and some routes have been reduced or suspended.

Amtrak is offering trip flexibility for tickets and has limited the ticket sales to ensure physical distancing on the trains.

It has also implemented enhanced cleaning measures and added protective barriers where necessary. It has also installed physical distancing signages and mandated passengers to wear facial coverings.

Additionally, Amtrak is only accepting cashless payments to reduce the spread of Covid-19 and is offering ‘seamless gate service’ and contactless ticketing.

Food on the trains are offered only as carryout and the café seating is closed.

Last month, Amtrak was one of the recipients of the $302m grant announced by the US Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Railroad Administration (FRA).

It received two Northeast Corridor (NEC) grants worth more than $63m.

Amtrak Pacific Surfliner announced that the operations partially restart to San Luis Obispo with one train in each direction each day.

An additional train will also operate from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara/Goleta.

Amtrak also sent a letter to the US Congress requesting $1.475bn in supplemental funding for the next fiscal year.

In April, Amtrak received $1bn in federal funds as it faces an unprecedented drop in ridership due to the Covid-19 crisis.