Monday, July 28, 2008

Taxpayers Buying Ticket to Nowhere

“50 Days, 50 Ways” Targets Amtrak Subsidies

(Hillsboro) Hillsboro Republican Grant Bosse today called for an end to taxpayer subsidies for Amtrak’s money-losing long-distance routes. According to the Department of Transportation, taxpayers foot the bill for over $210 for every passenger mile on Amtrak, compared to just $6 in federal subsidy for passenger airlines. Bosse’s proposal would save taxpayers at least $484 million a year.

“In some parts of the country, trains are a great way to get around. In the Northeast Corridor, even Amtrak’s inefficient operations pay for themselves. But we shouldn’t be paying people hundreds of dollars to take cross-country train rides,” Bosse said. “By eliminating the subsidy for long-distance routes, we can reinvest nearly half a billion dollars a year in our transportation infrastructure, and return some of that money to taxpayers.”

Amtrak was created in 1972 with the goal of being self-sufficient. Over the past 35 years, it has received over $13 billion in federal subsidies and is farther than ever from paying its own way. In 2005, long-distance routes accounted for 80% of Amtrak’s operating deficit while carrying only 15% of passengers. Service from Los Angeles to Orlando loses over $400 per passenger. The trains running from New York to Florida lose nearly $150 per passenger.

“It would actually be cheaper to give away free plane tickets to every passenger on some of these routes, and no one would support that,” Bosse added. “Taxpayers are buying a Ticket to Nowhere, and it is time we let them off.”

Bosse has now proposed $7.5 billion is specific cuts to federal spending, and he plans to offer a new program to eliminate every day until the September 9th Republican Primary. To learn more about Bosse’s aggressive grassroots campaign, go to

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