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I think that if Amtrack charged what it should in order to make a profit,nobody would ride beause it would cost too much. The railroad is already nationalized so why not spend the money to fix the RR infrastructure,speed up the trains with new equipment,bridges and track and then adjust the price to what the traffic will bear. faster trains will make more money.
On the other hand the privatization of the RR probably won't work unless the government sunsidizes it to make it go. Then we'll be right back where we are now only some people will be getting very rich off the subsidies and the tax payers will be paying more.
Just like high speed rail here in Florida. We have wide open spaces just about as flat as a table top and nobody will commit to building this RR without the government behind it. If it was such a big money maker for so many people then private money would have already built the darned thing.
The only RR that make any money are those who run stricly frieght. Moving freight pays big money,moving people doesn't. I wonder what the liability insurance costs on a passenger train going from LA to DC or NYC? Pete
 

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Discussion Starter #4
In my complete uninformed opinion I believe that mass transit needs to always be considered a monetary loss. I'm sure there are models and circumstances where privitization can and or is successful but I think in most cases it is not.

I heard a quip the other day about Britan now having the most expensive rail fares in the world and apparently it's due to privitization. I think airlines will still be private for a long time to come but eventually the costs will be too much forcing some form of govt support.

http://m.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/mar/10/rail-privatisation-failed-nhs?cat=commentisfree&type=article
 

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FWIW the man who owns the shipping terminals in Hong Kong ( we all know how busy they are and the amount of stuff that goes through them) has to by Government Law operate ferries from Main Land Hong Kong to Hong Kong Island at a lost as part of his agreement to run the shipping ports...and he does a great job the ferries and stations are nice and the boats are comfortable and always on time.
 

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That is good news......Need to progress in the issue of users of the mass transit systems to shoulder a larger share of the cost. Need to get off the government roles.
 

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Maybe it's the clientel that the RR serves. People who can't afford to drive or take the plane will have to take a bus or a train. Anyone who can't afford to have a car sure can't afford to ride the train either.
Therfore the train remains at a lower level price per ticket than would be profitable to attract riders.The only way the train can exist to serve the people who need it is to subsidize it with the government. Pete
 

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Maybe it's the clientel that the RR serves. People who can't afford to drive or take the plane will have to take a bus or a train. Anyone who can't afford to have a car sure can't afford to ride the train either.
Therfore the train remains at a lower level price per ticket than would be profitable to attract riders.The only way the train can exist to serve the people who need it is to subsidize it with the government. Pete
I'll have to take issue with some of this Pete...

For example, I prefer the train from DC to Boston for the simple fact that its cheaper, and faster, then driving. The Drive is about 9 hours...most of it sitting in traffic around DC, New York, ALL of Connecticut, and Boston.

Both of my cars are in great shape so its not a question of reliability....its still cheaper to take the train. Flying into the North East (Boston Area) is ludicrous. Its not only costly, but in all the travel I've done over the last 5 years there, I rarely, if ever, see a plan that isn't full to the gills with grumpy Bostonians.....

As for the other riders I see on the trains....many live in areas where they don't need a car, so to travel to Grandma's house in the Midwest, they either ride or fly.

And to date...the very least expensive mode of mass-long distance transit is the Bus. (Greyhound).......and I surely will avoid that!

Jim
 
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