Long-Distance Trains In Jeopardy.
As I guess most of us already know, the Trump budget for 2018 eliminates the federal subsidy for Amtrak’s long-distance trains. This doesn’t come from within the Trump Administration, of course. It’s right out of the Heritage Foundation’s playbook. That’s the Washington based libertarian “think tank” that opposes federal funding for pretty much everything, but most especially public transportation.
Defending Amtrak’s national network against the Heritage Foundation is a tough job because their political ideology opposes federal tax dollars subsidizing Amtrak. You make a rational argument for passenger trains and what you get back is simply that it’s not the federal government’s role to subsidize passenger trains. So societal reality—millions of people in need of affordable public transportation—is trumped by a political philosophy.
But take a look at the harsh reality.
If Amtrak’s long-distance service is forced to shut down, the National Association of Railroad Passengers (NARP) estimates that at least 16 of Amtrak’s long-distance trains would stop operating. That, in turn would mean as many as 220 cities and towns would lose train service. States shown in red would lose all Amtrak service
And how’s this for irony: most of those states voted for Trump.