October 1, 2013 is the implementation date for Section 209 of the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 (PRIIA), and it is quickly approaching. Section 209 calls for states to share costs with Amtrak under a consistent formula for all routes less than 750 miles in length outside of the Northeast Corridor.
There are 19 states and 28 routes affected by Section 209, and Amtrak has been working very closely with these states to have them begin funding a portion of the costs of these routes under the Section 209 formula beginning on October 1.
If they not have agreements with these states, service will be suspended on the affected routes, the last day of service will be October 16. For routes without agreements, on October 2 Amtrak will no longer take reservations for travel after October 16.
Currently Amtrak has completed negotiations or has agreements with fifteen states and agencies, an increase of eight state agreements since last week’s advisory. They are Virginia, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Wisconsin, Oregon, Washington, North Carolina, Maine, Pennsylvania, Michigan, the CCJPA in California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont.
Amtrak is still working to finalize agreements with New York, Illinois, Indiana and California-Caltrans as soon as possible. Many of these states are very close to completing negotiations.
Click here to read the recent Amtrak release on the agreement with North Carolina.