Thursday, March 17, 2005


Goodbye Amtrak

Federal Railroad Funding Gutted...

Ok, on one hand I complain about federal spending, on the other hand I complain about cutting federal spending?! The classic right of the American voter I say! Here in the Northeast, Amtrak is a viable and sometimes preferable alternative for travel. The new Acela trains can get one to New York in about 3:45...about the same as flying if you consider security waits, getting to the airport and such...better yet, you go from Downtown DC to Downtown cabs or long rides to/from airports.

Despite what you may think, pretty much all forms of transportation in the United States are subsidized. Highways consume hundreds of billions in federal subsidies, airports too, so why should passenger rail be any different? I think the Administration is probably right to cut back on funding for a national passenger railroad (a ticket from NY to LA, with about $2,000). But regionally, train service makes sense. Perhaps remnants of Amtrak (or a more vigorous successor) could serve DC to Boston, Detroit-Chicago-St. Louis, LA-SF-Portland-Seattle...who knows...but it doesn't look like I'll be getting to ride a maglev train in the States anytime soon.,0,6142211.story?coll=ny-region-apnewjersey

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