Amtrak's Goals

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jrgerber
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Re: Amtrak's Goals

Unread post by jrgerber »

Just in case we have forgotten we subsidize Greyhound and Indian Trails as well as Amtrak in this state.

We haven't raised the federal gas tax since 1993 which means the gas tax revenues from both trucks and cars can't pay for all the costs so the general taxpayer dollars are used to make up the difference.

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ns8401
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Re: Amtrak's Goals

Unread post by ns8401 »

jrgerber wrote:
Sun Apr 04, 2021 10:33 am
Just in case we have forgotten we subsidize Greyhound and Indian Trails as well as Amtrak in this state.

We haven't raised the federal gas tax since 1993 which means the gas tax revenues from both trucks and cars can't pay for all the costs so the general taxpayer dollars are used to make up the difference.
On the bus side of it we buy Greyhound and Indian Trails buses for the state service. The routes north of Lansing, Bay City and Grand Rapids into the UP to Ironwood and Houghton Hancock are subsidized by the state as they were abandoned by various carriers and the state stepped in to preserve service not terribly unlike the track that the state owns and GLC operates. South of those points the lines are profitable just like the AA is south of Osmer. I’m not sure how the rail contract works but GLC is designated operator so I’m sure there is some sort of assistance they get to make ends meet if there’s a shortfall somewhere.
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Jetlink
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Re: Amtrak's Goals

Unread post by Jetlink »

ns8401 wrote:
Sat Apr 03, 2021 11:45 pm

I wonder how much their cargo businesses make? The freight on buses and passenger trains used to be where the money was.
The airlines make a substantial amount of revenue hauling freight. Especially the overseas routes on wide-bodies.

So much more valuable is the freight business that just about every airline I've worked with has a policy to bump revenue passengers before revenue freight in an aircraft overweight situation.
interested in trains

jrgerber
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Re: Amtrak's Goals

Unread post by jrgerber »

I want to revisit the Amtrak profitability comment. No where in the world are passenger trains by governments expected to show a profit. I would like to see Biden's plan address the Gateway project in New York and more CREATE projects in Chicago rather than expand Amtrak service. I would also like the current service enhanced with better equipment. The Gateway and doing more CREATE projects would improve both passenger and freight traffic. And a last but not least continue to fund regional and short line track improvements with some modest additional levels of funding over the current levels.

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justalurker66
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Re: Amtrak's Goals

Unread post by justalurker66 »

atrainguy60 wrote:
Thu Apr 01, 2021 12:53 am
In response to Biden's infrastructure plans, Amtraks released some info on what they'd like to do over the next 15 years.
Some fixing neglected problems ... the new starts and improvements are capital and start up years only. Amtrak expects the states to take over paying operational expenses for everything shorter than 750 miles. And then Amtrak charges the states what Amtrak wants to charge turning the regional trains into "income" for the railroad (states paying for more than the cost of service). If the state doesn't pay the train goes away.

Michigan will continue to pay. Ohio might pay but has turned down "free money" in the past when they realized that they were getting a train that would become an expense for the state in a few years. The same for Wisconsin. Building a "national system" on the backs of the states. Amtrak gets the credit for running the trains, the states get the bills and the blame if the trains are not funded. Indiana still believes in fiscal responsibility so they won't be paying for trains that are more expensive than other modes of transit and offer little return on the investment.

Amtrak's new route/improved route plans are a fundraising letter to the states. And a piece of PR trying to convince people in every state (except SD, AK and HI) that Amtrak improvements will improve their state. Hopefully people will see the bill for payment in the other hand when Amtrak proposes something for their state.

jrgerber
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Re: Amtrak's Goals

Unread post by jrgerber »

Here is a description of the overall plan but especially transportation

https://www.cnn.com/2021/03/31/politics ... index.html

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