The Monday Rant: Yet Another Amtrak Derailment?
Like a lot of people, I have a relationship with Amtrak that's straight out of "Codependent No More": can't live with it, can't live without the hope that America will someday figure out how to have a passenger rail system.
On the one hand, I can certainly understand why Amtrak gets no love from some folks. It's on-time percentage is abysmal, track conditions are often terrible and many of the trains are in desperate need of refurbishment or replacement.
But at a time in which gasoline prices are unspeakably high, as are airfares, and when ridership on the trains is up 11% this year, is it really possible that the White House is threatening to veto the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act?
Indeed it is.
In fact, President Bush, somewhat unbelievably, has recommended that Congress cut Amtrak's budget by $525 million in 2009. To its credit, Congress is not only interested in not cutting that budget, but the Senate at least would like to increase it by $225 million.
It was just three years ago that Bush proposed eliminating all federal funding of Amtrak, which was something of a head-scratcher even then. But now, with the transportation woes that our country is facing, isn't anything less than lukewarm commitment to Amtrak ludicrous?
Or am I missing something? Is this the time to abandon funding a rail system? Amtrak may not hold a candle to the glorious trains elsewhere in the world, but it's all we've got.
What's your take?
Please email us to report offensive comments.
Posted by: Railfan | July 21, 2008 9:16 AM
Posted by: Anonymous | July 21, 2008 10:12 AM
Posted by: bnichols | July 21, 2008 10:37 AM
Posted by: recent traveler | July 21, 2008 10:38 AM
Posted by: Chasmosaur | July 21, 2008 11:10 AM
Posted by: Oy! | July 21, 2008 11:40 AM
Posted by: Steve | July 21, 2008 11:53 AM
Posted by: Dirty Davey | July 21, 2008 12:12 PM
Posted by: rja112 | July 21, 2008 1:16 PM
Posted by: . | July 21, 2008 1:50 PM
Posted by: Little Red | July 21, 2008 4:21 PM
Posted by: skijmpr | July 21, 2008 7:17 PM
Posted by: NoVAHockey | July 22, 2008 3:06 PM
Posted by: omars | July 23, 2008 10:33 AM
Posted by: Stumble_Bum2 | July 23, 2008 10:39 AM
Posted by: Ruth Gottstein | July 23, 2008 12:54 PM
Posted by: Rachel | July 23, 2008 8:20 PM
The comments to this entry are closed.