There’s outrage at Amtrak for slashing discounts to U.S. veterans.
For years, the 15% discount was offered through the Veterans Advantage Program.
Amtrak is ending the savings for students and AAA members as well, and they’re raising the age for senior discounts.
But it was the cuts to the Veterans Advantage Plan that drew the harshest backlash on Tuesday.
Senator Richard Blumenthal was alongside a Medal of Honor recipient when he called out the train service, saying rescinding the discount was shameful and disgraceful.
“That 15 percent is peanuts to Amtrak, but it is a symbolic and real measure of respect to our veterans,” he said. “To revoke it now is insulting, inexcusable and unconscionable.”
“Families, veterans and those who ride the rails have to have it available to them because it’s one of the few places they can get a very affordable trip,” explained Veterans Advantage Board Member, Congressional Medal of Honor recipient and Vietnam veteran Paul Bucha. “We’ve got to give it to them. Amtrak has got to.”
The veterans discount was offered for 17 years.
Just a few years ago, Amtrak actually expanded the discount to veterans’ families behind a push from Sen. Blumenthal.
Amtrak has said it is moving toward a more streamlined and efficient business model.
It has also said that it will offer active-duty U.S. personnel, their spouses and dependents 10 percent off the lowest ticket.