Amtrak's post hammer-and-sickle years

| September 28, 2012

Would Amtrak work if it was privately owned?

In the end its not only the private nature of the ownership that’s important, it’s who that owner is. Private ownership, per se, is only part of the equation.

So who in their right mind would want to own Amtrak?

House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chairman John Mica [R-FL] called Amtrak “our Soviet-style rail system” last year, and this year made national television by putting on a show-and-tell about the hefty taxpayer subsidies of the food and drink on board the trains. He’s also tried to push legislation to privatize the system Now come a Bloomberg story that again makes the case that Amtrak privatization might be worth a shot. Or you may read it as privatization is better than what we have now – if you must keep it running. What makes this worth reading is that rail in America is taxpayer subsidized and will be for the foreseeable future, but we need more ands better rail options. Yes we need rail to expand — but just how we do that is a question I will blatantly avoid here. Check this story out as a starter.

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