Amtrak, U.S. state rail agencies need $1 billion after coronavirus outbreak

FILE PHOTO: An Amtrak passenger train sits in New York City's Pennsylvania Station, U.S. April 27, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Segar

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. railroad Amtrak said the passenger rail service and its state partners need $1 billion in government assistance after a dramatic decline in travel because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Last week, Amtrak said bookings had plunged 50% since the outbreak and forecast losses of hundreds of millions of dollars.

Amtrak said it needs urgent additional funding this year “to make up for the unprecedented loss of ridership and revenue and to minimize employee and service impacts.”

Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Sandra Maler