View Poll Results: What Should be the Future of Amtrak

Voters
42. You may not vote on this poll
  • Continue Subsidies at Current Level

    2 4.76%
  • Stop Subsidies for Amtrak completely.

    17 40.48%
  • Continue Subsidies, and Maybe More, but Improve Service

    20 47.62%
  • I have never ridden Amtrak, and never will.

    3 7.14%
Page 5 of 19 FirstFirst ... 3456715 ... LastLast
Results 41 to 50 of 187

Thread: What Should be the Future of Amtrak

  1. #41
    Pragmatist
    SouthernDemocrat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    KC
    Last Seen
    Today @ 08:20 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Moderate
    Posts
    19,546

    Re: What Should be the Future of Amtrak

    Quote Originally Posted by CLAX1911 View Post
    Roads aren't a business Amtrak is.
    Really? You ever been on a turnpike? How about airports (some are, some are not)?

    I not for continuing to subsidize Amtrak as I think its antiquated, but the vast majority of infrastructure doesn't turn a profit. That is why governments typically base funding decisions on infrastructure on its economic multipliers to the overall economy.
    "You're the only person that decides how far you'll go and what you're capable of." - Ben Saunders (Explorer and Endurance Athlete)

  2. #42
    Sage
    Moderate Right's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Kentucky
    Last Seen
    Today @ 02:54 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Slightly Conservative
    Posts
    32,875

    Re: What Should be the Future of Amtrak

    Quote Originally Posted by Media_Truth View Post
    I'm of the opinion that no transportation system stands on it's own - especially the infrastructure. Amtrak pays hefty fees to the owners of the tracks, who must maintain the infrastructure. Roads are much worse to maintain. They need constant repair - sometimes every 2 or 3 years. Likewise for bridges and other infrastructure. Amtrak had revenue of $3.3 billion in 2017, with $194 million of debt. That amount of debt is nothing compared to road budgets.
    Then why charge customers at all? What's the point of making a business out of it that is guaranteed to lose money? I mean if customers want to use the transportation then they should ante up and pay for it. At least break even if you aren't going to make a profit. Either raise your prices or increase taxes to cover the costs. Amtrak is a losing proposition, just like the post office. People can either take planes, buses, or cars. Trains aren't needed for people transportation and private enterprise can run the postal system. It's kind of stupid to charge 55 cents for a stamp to mail a letter either just across the street or from Maine to Hawaii.

  3. #43
    Supreme knower of all
    CLAX1911's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Houston, in the great state of Texas
    Last Seen
    Today @ 09:05 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Libertarian - Right
    Posts
    32,242

    Re: What Should be the Future of Amtrak

    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernDemocrat View Post
    Really? You ever been on a turnpike? How about airports (some are, some are not)?

    I not for continuing to subsidize Amtrak as I think its antiquated, but the vast majority of infrastructure doesn't turn a profit.
    Amtrak isn't infrastructure it's a business.

    That is why governments typically base funding decisions on infrastructure on its economic multipliers to the overall economy.
    Amtrak is a business it uses infrastructure just like J.B. hunt or Greyhound do but they aren't infrastructure just because they use rail reads.

    It's a business.

    If it's a failing one we aren't getting our money worth

  4. #44
    Sage
    Moderate Right's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Kentucky
    Last Seen
    Today @ 02:54 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Slightly Conservative
    Posts
    32,875

    Re: What Should be the Future of Amtrak

    Quote Originally Posted by Grand Mal View Post
    Asinine to lose money? What would you say to someone who's casino went bankrupt?
    Lot's of businesses lose money until they go under, including many Casinos in Atlantic city during hard times. This thread is about continuing with a business that always loses money and of course the left want to keep it up and running.

  5. #45
    Educator
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Last Seen
    Yesterday @ 06:40 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Undisclosed
    Posts
    1,192
    Blog Entries
    1

    Re: What Should be the Future of Amtrak

    As long as the government is connected to Amtrak, it will be a mess. Government does terrible job of involving itself in any business.

  6. #46
    Educator
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Last Seen
    Today @ 02:32 PM
    Lean
    Undisclosed
    Posts
    816

    Re: What Should be the Future of Amtrak

    Hard to say, since I've never rode with Amtrak. However, this would be a good opportunity for private businesses to capitalize on this and consider making train travel profitable. Bullet trains might actually be the way to go, when it comes to passenger trains (that are not subway trains), like they do in Japan. Back up the prices with good service and quality management. This would actually make it nice for the Holiday Season and turnover a major profit by offering good discounts and setup a system where you earn points and, well, you get the rest.

    I wouldn't mind seeing the passenger locomotive industry make a comeback. Amtrak, unfortunately, has been giving it a bad name, and hasn't done anything to improve itself. Train travel can be so much more affordable if they gave everyone a good reason to use them, instead of basically saying "we're here, use us just cuz." Think of how much air travel costs nowadays and you have to travel from, let's say, from Ohio, where I live, down to Florida. Average cost of a plane ticket costs $379 (I don't know if that's how much it would cost, but let's go with this price). That's a lot of money dropped for air travel. It's fast sure, but tickets can still go down in price. Right now, the average train ticket can range anywhere from $20-$400. It's not as fast and it could, potentially, cost more. It could cost, one way, $300 (again, just an example), but it they could jack the price up. You're still looking to save money and, let's say there's an alternative passenger train business that may only cost. Instead of $300 for a ticket, this place can charge $150. For a family of 4 to go, they say it'll cost $225, one way. So long as the service is good and they're close to on time for departure and arrival as possible, I think the choice is clear of who to go through.

    Again, I have no real opinion on what should happen to Amtrak because I never used them before, but based on what I heard, they need an overhaul, starting from the top-down. But, then again, it might be time for a new, more modern, company(s) to come along and provide services.

  7. #47
    Guru

    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Last Seen
    Today @ 06:39 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Moderate
    Posts
    3,325

    Re: What Should be the Future of Amtrak

    Quote Originally Posted by Checkerboard Strangler View Post
    Tell ya what...I am and always HAVE BEEN in favor of upping the bar on driver education in this country.
    I think that the California Driver's License test should surpass GERMANY in terms of difficulty.

    And if we ARE going to get lucky and get our own "Autobahn", we better damn well consider that very seriously because as much as I favor the Autobahn concept, I am not looking forward to what will no doubt be a series of rather spectacular accidents as it goes through some growing pains.

    By the way, I've been commuting between Whittier and Long Beach every single day ever since my wife went into the Long Beach VA Hospital for a long term stay, recuperating from major surgery, and I swear to God, every single day I get on that stretch of I-605, once I get south of the 105 freeway exits, I can be doing 75-78 mph (above that my fuel econ goes straight to Hell so I refuse to exceed 78**) and I am getting passed by as if I am crawling...not just by one or two hot dogs, by dozens of cars, many dozens, maybe even a HUNDRED per trip.

    It's a simple FACT that, south of the 105 freeway, the I-605 de facto speed limit IS 80-85 mph, maybe even NINETY, except during rush hour.

    (**below 75 mph I can get about 48-55 mpg in my Prius snotbox, above 78 it starts to dip to 40 and sometimes even as low as 38 mpg.)

    Strangely enough, if I take my wife's 5800 pound handicap equipped Chrysler Pacifica van, I can still manage to get 24 mpg even at 85 mph, which is VERY impressive for a big fat box shaped pigmobile that weighs almost three tons.
    Unfortunately the HYBRID option is not available for handicap equipped vans because the slide out ramp goes right where the batteries normally go AND the floor is dropped about a foot anyway.
    Otherwise, in hybrid mode, I am told 40 mpg is possible at 85 mph.

    Going through the Arizona desert, much of which might be below sea level, we actually were getting almost 35 mpg at 85 miles per hour.

    UNBELIEVABLE.
    WOW... You live and drive in California. You've got guts. A state I vowed to never visit again. Not for any political reasons, but because of how dangerous it is to drive there. About four years ago my wife and I were at the Grand Canyon, and she got the urge to see the ocean. So off we went to California. It was beautiful scenery. But somewhere around LA I'm driving along at around 60mph on a crowded multi-lane when (maybe) 15 or 20 motorcyclists shot right past; what's called lane splitting. That was one of the most dangerous stunts I ever saw. An inch on either side from disaster. Happened a couple more times, but only one motorcycle doing it. Later I find that California is the only state that allows lane splitting.

    Btw; I own a motorcycle. I would never risk lane splitting. And it just isn't done around here.

  8. #48
    Pragmatist
    SouthernDemocrat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    KC
    Last Seen
    Today @ 08:20 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Moderate
    Posts
    19,546

    Re: What Should be the Future of Amtrak

    Quote Originally Posted by CLAX1911 View Post
    Amtrak isn't infrastructure it's a business.

    Amtrak is a business it uses infrastructure just like J.B. hunt or Greyhound do but they aren't infrastructure just because they use rail reads.

    It's a business.

    If it's a failing one we aren't getting our money worth
    In Hong Kong the subways are privately owned. Does that mean they are not infrastructure? There are privately owned major airports around the world, does that mean they are not infrastructure? Some river locks are privately owned and operated, does that mean they are not infrastructure?

    Amtrak may be a company, but it's our only major intracity rail passenger transport, thus it's also infrastructure.
    Last edited by SouthernDemocrat; 05-15-19 at 04:01 PM.
    "You're the only person that decides how far you'll go and what you're capable of." - Ben Saunders (Explorer and Endurance Athlete)

  9. #49
    Fighting US brownshirts
    DifferentDrummr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Confirmation Bias Land
    Last Seen
    Today @ 08:37 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Other
    Posts
    6,947
    Blog Entries
    3

    Re: What Should be the Future of Amtrak

    Here's another option that hasn't been touched on: upgrade the technology to magnetic levitation.

    Moreover, if the trains ran underground, and if the tunnels were pumped down to a vacuum, the speed of the trains would be limited only by the curvature of the earth.

    That would allow you to travel between the East and West Coasts in less than an hour.
    American brownshirts include (1) most people who say they're conservative (but aren't), (2) the libertarian-right, and (3) people who approve of Trump's presidency. They are the real enemy of the people.

  10. #50
    Sage
    Carleen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    New Jersey
    Last Seen
    Today @ 07:26 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Liberal
    Posts
    5,271

    Re: What Should be the Future of Amtrak

    Quote Originally Posted by Risky Thicket View Post
    Passenger rail in Europe is often much, much better than in the US. The TVG in France is excellent.
    I agree. Transportation in the US is really bad and has been for years. We are really behind other major countries.
    "Being President doesn't change who you are, it reveals who you are"

Page 5 of 19 FirstFirst ... 3456715 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •