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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Amtrak needs money. Surprise!

Amtrak has a press release stating

“Long-term, sustainable funding is the key and without it Amtrak and the whole system will continue to limp along failing to live up to the promise of what we know rail can do for the nation,” said Joe McHugh, Vice President, Government Affairs and Corporate Communications.

I could do with some “long-term, sustainable funding” myself. Then I wouldn’t have to go work for it either! McHugh’s congressional testimony amounts to “We need more money from you because we can’t make it on our own.” Really? Then maybe you need to shut it down.

I was watching Bill Maher last night and he and his guests were bemoaning the fact that we just won’t give Amtrak a chance. Its stunning to see them beat this dead horse in the face of the real fact that even on of Amtrak’s own VPs admits they can’t succeed on their own.

I also love their little company bio at the end of the release

Last fiscal year (FY 2009), the railroad carried 27.2 million passengers, making it the second-best year in the company’s history. With 21,000 route miles in 46 states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian provinces, Amtrak operates more than 300 trains each day—at speeds up to 150 mph (241 kph)—to more than 500 destinations.

Its all about how great it is that they move people around. That assumption being that their transportation volume, not the economical efficiency of transporting those people, is the ultimate goal. I see lots of numbers there but no dollar signs. The also conveniently leave out the fact that they only carry about 0.1 percent of passenger travel in the U.S. That 27 million doesn’t look so big anymore, does it?

<HT: The Antiplanner>

1 comment:

JIM LOOMIS said...

What ideolgical nonsense! So may I assume that, for consistency sake, you oppose ALL subsidies for public transportation? Then let's make the airlines pay for the air trafic control system. And make them pay for construction and maintenance of all the airports they use. (That's what Amtrak has to do.) Or, for that matter, let's force individual homeowners to pay for sidewalks and streets that pass their house.