By Keith Laing - 10/15/13 07:17 PM EDT
The Amtrak ridership record comes as lawmakers are poised to consider a new round of funding for passenger rail programs, if they can reach an agreement to end the current government shutdown.
The 2008 Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act (PRIIA) is set to expire this year, and lawmakers had begun holding hearings about a renewal prior to the beginning of the government shutdown on Oct. 1.
The PRIIA bill includes authorization for funding Amtrak, among other rail programs. Amtrak has traditionally received about $1 billion from the federal government per year since its inception in 1971.