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Amtrak sucks.

Peter Bagge's anti-Amtrak screed ("Amtrak Sucks," December) has elements of truth to it, but in his zeal to kill the train system, he misses the point. All transportation systems are subsidized. The subsidies to Amtrak are simply up front and visible.

The subsidies to other forms of transport are called "infrastructure improvements." Moreover, citing the $30 billion cumulative subsidy is misleading when the annual subsidy paid to Amtrak is pretty small compared to the vast amounts of pointless road subsidies paid every year.

In response to the call for the elimination of all subsidies to Amtrak, I say, "Great idea! And while we're at it, let's eliminate all subsidies for every other form of transportation, just to be fair." I expect that under those conditions, train travel would suddenly look a lot more economical, but that's only because all of the other forms of travel, without the hidden subsidies, would suddenly become far more expensive.

Kevin Standlee

Fremont, CA
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Author:Standlee, Kevin
Publication:Reason
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:Apr 1, 2006
Words:159
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