Manchin Fighting to Keep Amtrak Ticket Agent in West Virginia
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) spoke with Amtrak Executive Vice President (EVP) and Chief Commercial Officer Stephen Gardner today and urged him to reverse its decision to remove its ticket agent from the station in Charleston until they can agree on the fundamental facts about how ticket sale and daily ridership are calculated. Currently, there is only one Amtrak ticket agent in West Virginia, which will officially be eliminated today. Senator Manchin is drafting legislation that would require Amtrak to keep at least one ticketing agent in every state.
“Nearly 30% of West Virginia is without internet access, and mobile broadband access is also difficult in my state’s rugged, mountainous terrain, making online ticket sales difficult. Our population includes many working class families and elderly residents who are less likely to have a credit card or another means to purchase tickets remotely, but rely heavily on the train as an alternative to driving or flying. Removing the one and only ticket agent in the entire state will make it harder for Amtrak to attract new customers and retain the ones they already have. I have also heard from a number of West Virginians that they will no longer use Amtrak if they cannot buy their tickets from Matt Crouch. After serving West Virginians for more than 30 years, he is set to lose his job today. We deserve at least one manned ticket counter in the state and he does not deserve this and I will do whatever I can to fix it.”
In May, Amtrak announced that they would be terminating the ticket agent position in Charleston, the last Amtrak ticketing agent in West Virginia. Last month, Senator Manchin sent a letter to Richard Anderson asking him to postpone its decision. To read the letter click here.
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