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BUSINESS: Amtrak Must be Overhauled or Junked, Secretary Mineta Says

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posted on Feb, 16 2005 @ 08:05 PM
Shape up or ship out! That's more or less the word from Transportation Secretary Mineta to Amtrak. The Bush Administration is prepared to cut the one billion dollars a year in subsidies provided to the beleaguered system. Mineta says that every other mode of transportation has changed with the times and it's time that Amtrak did the same. Subsidies to Amtrak's commuter services would remain.
The Bush administration's message to Amtrak is simple: Change or die.

If Amtrak isn't dramatically overhauled, the Bush administration is prepared to essentially junk it and save only the commuter-rail segments, Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta said Wednesday. That's preferable, he said, to spending about $1 billion a year in subsidies to keep the cross-country passenger-rail system alive.

In its 2006 budget, the Bush administration proposes eliminating Amtrak's annual subsidy, which is $1.2 billion this year. The idea is to force Congress and Amtrak to institute sweeping change. Bush would limit Amtrak to owning and operating trains. Others - including state or local governments - would own the rails, stations and physical property, much as private businesses run airlines but the government maintains airports.

Every other mode of transportation has changed dramatically since the 1970s, when trucking and aviation were deregulated, but not Amtrak, Mineta said.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

I can't say that I disagree with this. I'm not sure why the government needs to continue to subsidize cross-country rail service, if it is not a profitable enterprise. Personally, I'm not too comfortable with the idea of traveling anywhere by Amtrak. I will have to say that rail travel has its charms, but it does seem that rail travel has many more vulnerabilities safety-wise than even air-travel, except, I hope that the security measures are less intrusive.

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[edit on 05/2/16 by GradyPhilpott]

posted on Feb, 16 2005 @ 08:19 PM
with air travel competition so high there is no chance for amtrak to be abel to compete. If you travel on train and stayed on a line your fine, but if you change lines your better off flying.

The biggest drawback is there really has been no attempt for there to be a switch over to high speed rail. which should ahve been done in the 70s when amtrak was created


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