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Intercity Rail Should Be Subsidized As Public Service

According to an Economic Policy Institute Study, the federal government must start viewing intercity rail travel as a public service, not a failing business.
June 6, 2003, 11am PDT | Abhijeet Chavan | @legalaidtech
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The fact is that no transportation mode in the United States pays foritself. All modes have always been subsidized. Highways do not pay forthemselves; they are financed by excise taxes on motor fuels, taxes notnecessarily related to use of highways. Air travel is subsidized as well.Hence the decision to reject subsidies for intercity passenger trains is arbitrary and inconsistent with public policy. The insistence on Amtrak showing a profit is an effort to impose a highly selective business model on what is really a public service.

Thanks to Michael Dudley

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Published on Friday, June 6, 2003 in Economic Policy Review
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