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A survey commissioned by US public rail service Amtrak showed 86% of 1,000 respondents support an “American passenger rail system” and further rail investment.

The survey was conducted by the Mellman Group and commissioned by Amtrak to “better understand America’s interest in intercity passenger rail service”. 

In addition, the survey asked for registered voters’ views on the importance of a public rail network, and on specifics around state and federal funding. 

Nearly 90% of voters said a passenger rail system was at least “somewhat” important, with 31% saying it is “extremely important”. Only 9% said such a service was “not important.” 

Amtrak president Roger Harris said: “The country has spoken – strengthening our nation’s intercity passenger rail network is an important priority.”

Mellman also reported positive reactions to the 2021 federal rail funding bill passed by US Congress as part of the Infrastructure and Jobs Act. The Biden Administration pushed the law, which has seen multiple rail projects across the US apply for federal funding. 

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By GlobalData

Of the 1,000 respondents, 58% indicated strong support, meaning 83% reported positivity towards the post-Covid economic recovery action. Only 10% opposed the investment.

Along with support for federal nationwide funding, 81% of voters asked by Mellman/Amtrak said they would support their state government investing in public passenger rail services. While 50% said they “strongly” support their own state investing in local rail, 13% said they opposed the idea. 

Amtrak network development vice-president Nicole Bucich said: “Americans are rooting for passenger rail to further enhance mobility, invest in communities and strengthen connections across the United States.

“With strong support from every region in the country, Amtrak is working closely with our various state and host railroad partners to meet the many demands for train travel.”