Trains For America

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Canadian shakedown on Amtrak Vancouver expansion

Some fairly tough words today concerning Ottawa’s plan to charge Amtrak $500,000 for added customs inspection of the proposed second daily train. Miro Cernetig is a columnist for the Vancouver Sun.

Sure, it’s great if you can get someone outside the country to pay for your government services. And there’s no doubt the federal agency has to mind its budget in a time of restraint.

Moreover, Ottawa is being penny wise and pound foolish. We’ll easily get back the investment. A study by the Border Policy Research Institute of Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash., calculates Canada’s federal, provincial and municipal governments will collect an extra $1.87 million in GST, PST and hotel room taxes from the extra tourists who would travel to Vancouver if a second Amtrak train begins service.

The column also cites another economic study by the Washington State Department of Transportation that adds even more bucks to the B. C. coffers.

Filed under: Amtrak, Passenger Rail Politics, Passenger Rail Transportatio Policy, Regional USA Passenger Rail

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