So let’s cut the funding.
This video from CBS News does a good job of explaining the predicament of passenger rail in the United States. The figures near the end of the piece show some stark numbers: Amtrak receives 1.4 billion dollars per year (the same as it received in 1980), compared to 14.5 billion for air and 30 billion for highways. It almost goes without saying that the current budget put forth by the Bush Administration slashes funding for Amtrak by almost 40 percent. The measure put forth by Senator Lautenberg of New Jersey sounds more reasonable, as he wishes to double Amtrak’s funding. Unfortunately, I highly doubt that any positive movement will happen on this front (or any other front) before 2009.