Amtrak Tracking for My Commute Between New York City and Philadelphia

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Some people think public funding for Amtrak is bad

A couple weeks ago the U.S. Senate approved $11.4 billion for Amtrak over 6 years. I've been reading about some opposition to this from various sources. In the article Saving Amtrak, Good Money Chasing Bad - All Aboard! they clearly think this is a bad idea and push to make Amtrak private. Their position is pretty specious hower. Some of the articles comments:

"The increase in nationwide train travel probably corresponds with an increase of baby-boomers retiring and looking for nostalgia in their travels"
--Got some proof? This is just a silly comment I think.

"Why should government fund the East coast commuters from the tax dollars of Midwesterners and other places without access to trains?"
--They're not, the NEC is profitable and actually funds the rest of Amtrak's services.

Amtrak and its rail lines are an important part of the US infrastructure, we need to fund it properly. The federal dollars Amtrak receives pales next to highway and airline subsidies. The WSJ reported that many feel funding Amtrak will help alleviate gridlock in other areas.

And a Christian Science Monitor article supporting the federal assistance "Help Amtrak keep on trackin'".

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Amtrak workers may be able to strike as early as December 1

The New York Times article "Amtrak Workers in Cooling-Off Period" states that after rejecting mediation and entering a 30-day cooling-off period Amtrak workers may be able to strike as early as December 1. Amtrak and several unions are deadlocked over health insurance costs, work rules and back pay dating to 2000, when the last contract was approved.

Amtrak has never had a strike in its 30-year history. About half of its 15,000 unionized employees belong to labor groups that rejected the National Mediation Board's intervention in bargaining October 25. Amtrak and eight unions were released from mediation Wednesday and began the waiting period November 1.

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