RUTLAND (AP) -- The state of New York will help pay the cost of running Amtrak’s Ethan Allen Express that travels between Rutland and New York City.
New York will contribute $800,000 toward the costs of operating the train while Vermont will pay $1.4 million, said Chris Cole, the Vermont Agency of Transportation’s director of policy, planning and intermodal development.
The amount is determined by the rail miles in each state.
The change was prompted by a new law, which reduced the federal contribution to passenger routes that less than 750 miles long from 25 percent to 15 percent, but the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act allows for cost-sharing between the two states.
Cole tells the Rutland Herald that Vermont’s share of the Ethan Allen dropped $100,000, but any savings are more than offset by an increase of more than $2 million in costs to run the Vermonter line, the train that runs up the eastern side of Vermont and on to St. Albans.
Costs should come down as ridership on both lines increases, due to faster speeds from improved tracks, he said. Officials hope to eventually extend the Ethan Allen Express north from Rutland to Burlington.
"We’re anticipating when we’re able to operate the Ethan Allen at faster speeds, we’re going to be competitive with the automobile to New York City," Cole said.