WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) today applauded Anthony R. Coscia for being named Chairman of the Amtrak Board of Directors. At Sen. Lautenberg’s urging, President Obama named Coscia to the Amtrak Board of Directors in 2009, and Lautenberg successfully shepherded his nomination through the Senate. Last week, Mr. Coscia’s fellow board members chose him to be the new chairman. Coscia has previously served as Chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
“This is a great day for Amtrak. There is no better person to lead the Amtrak Board of Directors right now,” said Lautenberg, Chairman of the Commerce Surface Transportation Subcommittee with jurisdiction over Amtrak. “Tony is a proven business leader who will work to increase Amtrak’s record-setting ridership levels, further strengthen Amtrak’s business plan, and move America’s passenger rail service into the 21st Century.”
Amtrak is a government-owned corporation that was organized on May 1, 1971 to provide intercity passenger train service throughout the United States. The members of its board of directors are appointed by the President and are subject to confirmation by the United States Senate.
Lautenberg is one of the Senate’s leading advocates for passenger rail. In 2008, he wrote the law to reauthorize Amtrak, which provided increased funding, helped modernize the Northeast Corridor and created grants to develop high-speed rail around the country. Lautenberg is currently working with Amtrak to build the Gateway Tunnel to expand rail access between New Jersey and New York and lay the foundation for higher-speed rail on the Northeast Corridor.
Amtrak employs more than 20,000 people and connects 500 destinations in 46 states. In fiscal year 2012, Amtrak served 31.2 million passengers, marking the highest annual ridership in the company’s history.