© . US President Joe Biden answers questions as he announces his fiscal year 2023 budget proposal, during remarks in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, US, March 28, 2022. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
By David Shepardson WASHINGTON () – The US Department of Transportation budget released on Monday calls for an initial $100 million for a $12.3 billion project that aims to build a new rail tunnel between New York City and New Jersey and reconstruct an existing one. The Biden administration is also calling for increased funding for the American passenger rail Amtrak on top of the $22 billion approved under the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill. The government wants $3 billion in annual funding for Amtrak for the 2023 fiscal year, up from $2.33 billion in previous annual funding. Amtrak, which would receive a total of $7.4 billion by 2023, including infrastructure bill funding, aims to expand dramatically in the United States, increasing to 39 corridor routes and 166 cities by 2035. The $100 million would mark the first time federal support for the Hudson (NYSE:) Tunnel project. The Biden administration is also proposing $400 million for the $6.9 billion expansion of Second Avenue Subway. “Public transportation creates jobs, reduces traffic and pollution, and lowers the cost of living for people in the community,” said US Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg. The Hudson Tunnel project has been the subject of a decade-long debate in Washington since a more-than-century-old rail tunnel in the New York City area was damaged in 2012. The tunnel project is one of a series of improvements known as “Gateway.” to the New York City-area portion of the Northeast Rail Corridor, which runs from Washington, DC, through New York to Boston. The Hudson River tunnel project would double the number of tracks in the tunnel from two to four and allow the existing tunnels to be closed one at a time for critical repairs. Republican President Donald Trump haggled with Democrats over the Hudson River tunnel project and did not agree to fund it.