Excellent article on the Rail Runner (and something on Amtrak too)

Barry Massey of the AP had one of the more balanced and informative stories you’ll find on New Mexico’s foundering Rail Runner.  As transportation analyst Wendell Cox notes, “there is almost a worship of rail.” I couldn’t agree more.

Speaking of rail worship, defenders of Amtrak are pulling out all the stops to preserve the $1.3 billion in annual subsidies that system receives. The chart’s creator (available at the link) attempts to increase the costs of automobiles to make it seem even with Amtrak. Things like “lost tax revenue” and “transportation diversity” come down in Amtrak’s favor.

The fact is that America’s passenger rail system would be better off if the federal government simply privatized it. Getting rid of costly union contracts and money-losing routes while focusing resources in heavily-populated areas would allow passenger rail to turn a profit and serve more people. Instead, Congress is strangling passenger rail service by keeping it on perpetual life support.

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3 Replies to “Excellent article on the Rail Runner (and something on Amtrak too)”

  1. Right on, Paul !! End Amtrak now!!! If the Boston Washington Corridor real needs rail service, then those states can pay for it.

    Put Amtrak up for auction and if no buyers, close it down.
    The Wells Fargo Pony Express closed after telegraph replaced the need for mail delivered via horse.

    Then do the same with the US Post Office. Put the business up for bids, and shut it down.

  2. Wendell Cox is a highway lobbyist, so of course he going to attack railroads.

    Again you are over looking that the roads don’t make money.

    Railrunner also has lower costs than a lot of bus operations.

    Paul, when you quote frauds like Wendell Cox & Randal O’Toole it just makes RGF look bogus!

    1. Why does Greyhound not need taxpayer subsidies? That’s all I’m looking for. I don’t buy all of the externalities that rail supporters cite. Also, if you are going to cite negative externalities on cars and roads, you have to cite the positives of freight, freedom of movement, public safety. You rail advocates are never willing to fight ALL transportation subsidies. Just like the “green energy” folks, you want to keep YOUR subsidies flowing.

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