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Funding Gap May Close Popular Amtrak Route – NBC29

We better shut this one down right away. It gets in the way of the Republican/Tea Party Narrative. Repeat it to yourself over and over “nobody rides the train” (and when they do, we better by-gosh stop it!)

Amtrak anticipated that about 51,000 riders per year would take advantage of the service, but a report released this week shows more than 126,000 hopped aboard. Adding to that success, the service has blown away revenue estimates. They expected $2.5 million, but raked in more than $6 million.

Funding Gap May Close Popular Amtrak Route – NBC29.

Filed under: Amtrak, Passenger Rail Politics

2 Responses

  1. LoboSolo says:

    —Richards says even though it’s paying for itself that doesn’t mean that other routes are, and funding for this pilot project runs out in 2011. “We will need a source of operating funds. The state is going to need a dedicated fund for passenger operation,” she said.—

    Huh? … If it is paying for itself, then don’t you already have a source of operating funds?

    And how close are the other lines to paying for themselves as well?

  2. LoboSolo says:

    Reading the comments, there is this post:

    The article is confusing. However, as member of the Virginia Association of Railway Patrons (VARP) and one who has been promoting the new Lynchburg Train since its beginning, let me explain the facts in plain English:

    1. The new Lynchburg Train made a profit in its first year (Oct 2009 – Sep 2010): revenues 116% over operating expenses.

    2. Because of the much greater than expected riders, Amtrak’s “cost of operation” has increased, and Amtrak will charge the State of Virginia more to operate the train in the 2nd Year. I do not know the figure.

    Until ridership and revenues are compared to “increased costs of operation” in the coming months, no one will know if the “best performing state-sponsored train in the US” will be profitable in its 2nd Year.

    3. Because the State has allotted $2.9 million subsidy for this train for 3 years, if there are short falls, nothing could possibly happen to the New Lynchburg Train until Oct 2012.

    My personal opinion is that, despite increases in operating costs, the Lynchburg Train will continue to be profitable because there are many ways of promoting the train to the public that have not even been tried yet or have not reached their full potential: electronic sign boards on interstates, 511 traffic system, Visitor Center, Lodging, and other website, travel articles, etc.).

    Note: “Because of the much greater than expected riders, Amtrak’s “cost of operation” has increased, and Amtrak will charge the State of Virginia more to operate the train in the 2nd Year.”

    It looks like Amtrak is trying to shoot itself in the foot. Did Amtrak have to add extra cars or people? How is the fee that they charge Virginia determined?

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