Amtrak On The Good-Bye Train

The Bush Administration proposes legislation that would 'split Amtrak into operating and maintenance companies and open them to competition from outside contractors.'
July 31, 2003, 6am PDT | Connie Chung
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"The Bush administration is proposing to scrap direct federal funding of Amtrak and turn over much of the responsibility for national passenger rail service to state governments....Currently, the nation's only city-to-city passenger railroad is a for-profit federal corporation that has never made money in its 30-year history. Amtrak has $4 billion in debt and says it needs $1.8 billion for capital projects next year." The plan entails "turning responsibility for Amtrak to the states gradually over a six-year period. Under the bill, states would forge regional coalitions to oversee train service and eventually would have the option of contracting service to private rail companies."Amtrak supporters assert that the change "would mean the end of much, if not all, intercity passenger rail, and "questioned whether financially strapped state governments could pick up the additional cost and said it might lead to endless bickering among states over scheduling."

Thanks to Connie Chung

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Published on Tuesday, July 29, 2003 in The Boston Globe
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