October 6, 2017 - Rail Passengers Association (NARP) -
By Jim Mathews, Opinion Contributor, TheHill.com -
This summer the White House and a handful of Congress members tried to kill Amtrak’s national network. Both the House and the Senate soundly rejected this outrageous proposal, boosting appropriations instead.
Ultimately, Congress smartly recognized rail’s vital economic role, especially in rural, less wealthy towns and flyover country communities where service cuts would have hurt the most. Appropriators in the House and Senate see that trains are a valuable investment in America’s future, and the data show convincingly that far from cutting, we should be expanding rail investment to power U.S. economic growth.
The tired argument to eliminate the national network, which is sure to come around again in the next budget cycle, is built on the false premise that passenger rail isn’t profitable. By that standard, we may as well eliminate Interstate Highway System funding, not to mention the nation’s aviation network and waterways.
Reality check: no national transportation network is profitable on its own.