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Amtrak cuts Missouri service to 1 daily round trip

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Amtrak service in Missouri has been reduced to one round trip starting Monday as federal and state COVID-19 relief funding ends.

The Missouri River Runner Amtrak train service will run one train leaving Kansas City in the mornings and one leaving St. Louis in the afternoon.

Federal law requires states to pay part of the cost of some Amtrak routes. The previous second round trip was funded by the state and the federal American Rescue Plan money for COVID relief, which ran through December.

Amtrak’s Missouri River Runner

Transportation department director Patrick McKenna said lawmakers had told the department not to go into debt for Amtrak service. He said running two routes from January to June would result in an estimated $2.5 million in debt.

“Knocking back to one train we think will fit in the budget resources we have,” he said. “We didn’t have an option – we had to balance the account.”

McKenna said the River Runner budget for fiscal year 2022, which runs from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022, was $10.85 million.

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