Senator Chuck Schumer isn't standing for a new Amtrak idea that would boost capacity by reducing legroom on certain trains. During a press conference Sunday, the Senate Minority Leader said the proposed seat shrinkage would make the Amtrak experience similar to air travel—a mode of transportation that Schumer does not seem particularly fond of—and urged the company to scrap the idea.

"When it comes to money-making ideas, railroads shouldn't let the airline industry play conductor, and travelers would agree," he said. "In fact, travelers choose Amtrak because it offers a more comfortable traveling experience, but if Amtrak starts on the slippery slope of shrunk seating, my view is that it could become the norm to pack people in like sardines."

Earlier this week, outgoing Amtrak CEO Wick Moorman said the company was studying the idea of an "economy class" seating option, which would involve reducing seat pitch (the distance between any given point on one seat and the corresponding point on the seat in front of it) and "some other things that just don't make it quite as comfortable," Reuters reports. Moorman noted that the idea is being studied, but no final decisions have been made so far.

In June, the struggling railroad company tapped Richard Anderson, an airline veteran and former executive with Delta, to be its next CEO. He and Moorman will serve as co-chief executives until December.

According to Business Traveler, the seat pitch offered on Amtrak's standard coach option is comparable to First Class on most airlines. Amtrak's coach seats currently offer a seat pitch of 39 inches, compared with an average of just 30 inches for economy seats on major airlines.

During his press conference, Schumer also bemoaned the shrinking legroom on airplanes, saying that "airlines had largely gotten away with it at the expense of consumer comfort." Last year, the senator introduced an amendment to an FAA funding bill that would require airlines to establish a minimum seat pitch of 35 inches.

"I can't fit in those seats," Schumer said at the time. "Bottom line is everything is being taken away, and nothing bothers people more than the fact that there is almost no leg room."

A representative for Amtrak was not immediately available to comment.

UPDATE: Amtrak spokesman Mike Tolbert said in a statement to Gothamist: "Amtrak is not currently looking to change its seat spacing for the services we now offer. Like any company, we do continuously look at ways to attract new customers, provide more travel options and enhance the customer experience, in order to supplement the great products and services we already offer."