Shut down Amtrak?

Discussion in 'News / Current Events' started by Salty, Oct 23, 2008.

?

Should the Federal Govt fund AmTrak

  1. Yes, whaterver they need

    2 vote(s)
    11.8%
  2. No more than 80%

    1 vote(s)
    5.9%
  3. No more than 50 %

    1 vote(s)
    5.9%
  4. No more than 20%

    2 vote(s)
    11.8%
  5. No federal $$ should be given to Amtrak

    8 vote(s)
    47.1%
  6. other answer

    3 vote(s)
    17.6%
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  1. Salty

    Salty
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  2. JamieinNH

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    I voted other answer...

    I don't have enough knowledge about Amtrack and their expenses and track record to say, but in a commerical I recently saw there is a train company that moves freight that gets much milage on 1 gallon of fuel and hauls tons...

    If Amtrak could be made to save money, fuel and resources, and the schedules would be such that people would actually use it, I think maybe the government should help out so from a saving resources stand point.

    I know that most people don't use the bus system because of the way the schedule is.. It takes 3 hours to get 20 minutes across town. I don't take the bust, but over the last couple of years have tried to take it when repairs where being down to my car, and the schedule was crazy..

    Anyways... if the train could be made to work, save resources and people would use it, then yes.
     
  3. just-want-peace

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    I don't think public transportation in my burg would be feasible simply because the town is too small. You could walk from one end to the other in 45 minutes, and walk the width in 15 or so.

    You do make some good points re: TIME as that, IMHO, can make or break a system. Routing would be the other major factor I would think.

    However, for a govt entity to be the "owner/operator of such a system just naturally leads to red-tape, unnecessary regulations, and pitiful response to customer feedback.

    If an entrepreneur could start something like this I could see a thriving business in certain towns. Then the taxpayer will not be paying for bureaucratic nearsightedness and, if truly needed, the town would have a functioning PT system.

    Basically all I said fits the Amtrak situation also.

    IOW I'm for gov't staying out of anything except governing (and as little of that as possible)!
     
  4. billwald

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    On the East Coast the Amtrak commuter trains between NY and DC are full. On the West Coast it is a total waste of money. They should only run where they can fill a train.
     
  5. Bro. Curtis

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    I've ridden the Amtrak back & forth to Montana, about 2.5 days, each way. it goes thru some beauiful sections of Glacier Park, and it's easy to nap just about the whole time.....

    I read somewhere we subsidize it's travel, save for 20 cents a mile paid by the general boarding customer. They do make good money in the bar car & concessions...It's about $255 for a basic ticket. But the sleeper cars go for like 1500 bucks, one way......

    It's a great way to travel, you meet people, you have much more time to contemplate the trip, and it's really cool to look at the sights.....
     
  6. Squire Robertsson

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    AMTRACK trains between San Francisco and Sacramento are full. With gas only at a temporary low, it makes sense to operate AMTRAK.
     
  7. Steven2006

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    I am always for less government. However I would say that traveling by train is very energy efficient, and in that context I would much rather they stop wasting money subsidizing ethanol before the government cut Amtrak. At least we are getting something of value with Amtrak.
     
  8. North Carolina Tentmaker

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    I voted that no money should go to Amtrack, but that is with some conditions.

    I believe that any enterprise that cannot be run without government subsidies needs to be shut down. You don’t subsidize failure, you subsidize innovation that after a few years is profitable. So here is the question, why isn’t Amtrack profitable? One obvious reason is that it is run by the government. Amtrack is (like Freddie and Fannie) a government owned company. 100% of Amtrack’s stock is held by the federal government. All members of the board of directors are appointed by the President and approved by the Senate.

    Another obvious problem with Amtrack’s profitability is the multiple railroad unions it has to deal with.

    But the biggest problem with Amtrack is the same problem all railroads have, they require huge investments in infrastructure. When railroads first exploded across America we had a relatively weak federal government that did not invest in infrastructure. The railroads built the lines and paid for them. And the rail barons made millions once those lines were built. Amtrack’s competition, air, sea, and road are all heavily subsidized in their infrastructure. We give 2.6 billion per year to Amtrack right now. But according to the wik article on Amtrack,

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amtrak



    We subsidize their competition so why shouldn’t we subsidize Amtrack?

    Here is my solution to Amtrack and the rail problem in general. We should federalize all rail lines in our country. Let Amtrack make their own way and make a profit, but let them do it on rail lines owned by and maintained by the federal government. Our government already owns the interstate highways. We have the FAA and DOT that control air and road transportation. Federalize all rail lines and then appoint a government agency to maintain and control it.

     
  9. SaggyWoman

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    We put money in roads. Why not trains.
     
  10. LeBuick

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    I've always wanted to take a trip on the train. You make me want to run out and do it now. I heard there is breath taking views of untamed country that is not visible any other way.

    I voted other... There will be the day the train will become extinct. We need to balance subsidies with delaying the inevitable...
     
  11. rbell

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    I instinctively said "No gov't $$," but ya'll do make some good points.

    I guess I'm more open to Amtrak if it's aiding in mass transit. But for pleasure trips, less "essential" routes that are less about commuting, etc., I would say they should have to play by market rules.

    But one area I wish the US would improve on is mass transit.

    (See, LeBuick, I just went into a trance and channelled a liberal, didn't I?? :D :D )
     
  12. Crabtownboy

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    I love traveling by train ... have done so in China, Europe and the States. It is much more efficient than driving, much more relaxing, and very energy efficient conpared to driving.

    Here in the Czech Republic and most of Europe you can go by train and/or bus to even the smallest villages.

    We need better public transportation in the States and less cars on the road with only one person in the car. Our current mode is probably the most energy wasteful system in the world.
     
  13. rbell

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    I was very impressed at the public transit in CZ. Even in Ostrava--a town off the beaten path in which 90% (it seems) of the people spoke no English at all--I was able to find my way around with little difficulty at little cost.

    It would be nice to see that in the US.
     
  14. Salty

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    The same could be said of churches. There are towns in Germany with only 2 or 3 different churches. The same size town in the US may have 20 or 30 small churches. Isnt that a waste of engery? Should the US pas a law that would allow no more than 5 churches per 2500 residents in order to save heating/AC in so many churches?

    I thnk its great that Europe has a great train system. It is very effecient, but the question is who pays for it? Public transportion does not work for everyone.

    Salty
     
  15. Crabtownboy

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    Apples and salt ... there is no logical comparison in your statment. How do you know public transportation does not work for everyone ... we haven't tried it in the States. It seems to work very well here. If I lived here I would never buy a car, it isn't necessary. In the States it is necessary, but that could change.
     
    #15 Crabtownboy, Nov 2, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 2, 2008
  16. Jon-Marc

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    Taxpayers are paying for way too much as it is--including things we wouldn't pay for if we were given a choice.
     
  17. Crabtownboy

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    How about cutting all taxes that go to road construction and upkeep and make every road a toll road so only the users pay?
     
  18. Salty

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    Doesent work for me. I must be at work at 430 am. No buses at that time.

    I dont even like to car pool. Say there are 4 guys in the pool. I am driving. At noon, the boss says I can go home early. Opps, no way.

    As far as all roads should be for tolls, keep in mind that everyone benefits from roads. If you take the bus or taxi, you are on the road. Most everyghing you buy at the store comes via truck...
     
  19. LeBuick

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    I'll save you a seat at the next meeting... :thumbs:
     
  20. Crabtownboy

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    There are buses, trams and subways running at 4:30 in Prague. I believe they start at 4:00. There are commuter trains running that time of day also. I am curious, would you use public transportation if it fit your schedule. You can buy an unlimited year long pass, good on buses, trams and the subway here for about $250.00.
     
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