By David Shepardson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – US passenger railroad Amtrak and American automakers pledged on Saturday to partner with the new government of Democrat Joe Biden, who seeks to promote mass transit and green vehicles.
"To get the economy going and help Amtrak and our employees in this unprecedented situation, Congress must respond now to pandemic relief and funding of economic incentives," said Bill Flynn, CEO of Amtrak.
Flynn told Congress last month that it expects Amtrak's revenues to decline more than 70% from pre-coronavirus in 2021 as new sweeping cuts are considered and additional US support in the amount of up to $ 2.9 billion is required.
According to Flynn, Amtrak looks forward to working with Biden, a decade-long regular Amtrak driver who has a train station named after him in Wilmington, Delaware, his home state.
The demand for transit and airlines in the US was destroyed by the coronavirus pandemic. Congress had considered giving the airlines another $ 25 billion in October that would have kept at least 32,000 workers on the payroll.
Major airlines are being considered to re-urge support if Congress revisits the issue. However, they declined to comment on Saturday after U.S. television network declared Democrat Biden the winner of the presidential election over incumbent Republican Donald Trump.
Local transportation systems want $ 32 billion in federal aid. Biden has vowed to provide "high quality, zero-emission public transportation" to US cities of 100,000 or more residents by 2030.
The U.S. automakers also pledged to partner with Biden, who has pledged to spend billions of dollars to add 500,000 electric charging stations, fund battery research, and provide full tax credit for Tesla Inc (O 🙂 and General Motors Co (7,500 USD). N 🙂 vehicles that have expired.
Automakers could argue with Biden over the fate of fuel efficiency requirements through 2025 and the penalties for non-compliance with mandates.
GM said Saturday it looks forward to working with its government and Congress to "advance our vision of an all-electric, zero-emissions future."
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (MI 🙂 looks forward to working with Biden and the new congress "to empower the automotive industry and create a safer future for our employees, customers and society".
Biden wants to help cities "invest in e-scooters and other micro-mobility vehicles and integrate technologies such as machine learning-optimized traffic lights" and wants Congress to approve a major infrastructure package next year.
Biden also supports incentives for consumers to swap less efficient vehicles for US-built EVs, and tax breaks for automakers and parts makers to build or convert electric vehicle factories.
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