Trains For America

More choices for better transportation

More Senate action on Amtrak due next week

Congressional Quarterly is covering a significant discussion on Amtrak funding. This is a good time to get congress to abolish the foolish requirements requiring Amtrak to become “self-sufficient.”

That might be a good idea for highways.

Here is a portion of the latest report.

The Senate already has turned back several attempts to open Amtrak’s routes to more competition and divest it of routes losing the most money. More amendments along these lines are expected next week.

The Senate also will have to consider a frontal assault on the whole notion of continuing federal subsidies for the passenger railroad. Existing law requires Amtrak to become self-sufficient, a mandate the bill would drop.
Wayne Allard, R-Colo., is challenging that decision with an amendment.

Whether to retain the directive goes straight to the heart of the ideological divide over Amtrak: Is it a public necessity that deserves permanent federal support, or a business that should be driven by a profit motive? The second is the view held by the White House and many, but not all, Republicans.

Filed under: Amtrak, Passenger Rail Transportatio Policy

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October 2007


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