Amtrak Is Here To Stay

Amtrak will never overcome its deficit, but public support for a national long-distance train system means that Amtrak is here to stay.
June 9, 2003, 3pm PDT | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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"Amtrak will need subsidies declining from $1.8 billion to $1.5 billion a year.. But Gunn, who has experience with five metropolitan transit systems (in Toronto, Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Washington) knows that America is big and mostly thinly populated, and that rail passenger service makes sense for short runs in densely populated areas. Nowhere in America are there the conditions that make Japan's high-speed trains profitable: dense population, negligible air service and very high gas prices. In 2000, Americans took 665 million plane trips and 22.5 million Amtrak trips... Amtrak -- long-distance trains, legislative logrolling and all -- should be counted as a cost of democracy. It is here to stay, like true love, only more so."

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Published on Sunday, June 8, 2003 in San Jose Mercury News
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