Out of Control Policy Blog

Strange Planet: Amtrak Commercial Success Used to Fight Privatization

A recent article in The Hill really had me scratching my head.

Republicans in the House have "argued that rail service in the populous Northeast should be privatized because non-governmental companies would provide faster service for passengers. . . "

OK, that makes sense. Indeed Reason has advocated a similar approach. But then comes the curve ball:  Democrats say they oppose the ideas because recently ridership in the Northeast corridor has been up.

So let me get this straight. As more people use the Northeast corridor trains, thus becoming more commercially successful and so needing less or perhaps no subsidy, that should turn us away from privatization?  What classic hypocrisy.  They argue that the market fails to provide the train service people want, so the government has to do it. Then if it is commercially successful and doesn't need government provision, they still argue government should do it.

Adrian Moore is Vice President, Policy


« Tolling Patents Raise Specter of… | Main | Twisted Transit Parking Logic...and the… »




Out of Control Policy Archives