Missouri running up debt for Amtrak trains

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri is running up a debt with the federal government for running Amtrak passenger train service between St. Louis and Kansas City.

Officials from the Missouri Department of Transportation predict the state will owe Amtrak about $2.9 million by the end of the next fiscal year.

Missouri uses state tax dollars to subsidize the twice-daily train service between the state’s two largest cities. But MoDOT officials say the state’s subsidy has fallen short of covering its full costs in recent years, and will continue to do so next year unless lawmakers authorize more spending.

The state transportation agency says ridership on the Amtrak route increased from about 164,000 in the 2010 fiscal year to about 191,000 passengers last year.

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