Lead Service Attendant
- Mar 30, 2019
I just ran across a note regarding the former "403b" state:federal funding split. It shows that from 1971 till 1981, the state or local sponsor of trains added to the Amtrak network had to pay 50% of the cost. In 1981 that was revised to 45% of the first year being a state responsibility, and 65%$205 billion is nearly sufficient (at least in my book) but we still need a source of reoccurring funding like the highways get. We need to work on expanding less high profile corridors like most of the state supported services. We need a feeder system of trains before we can really work on high speed rail. The reason is, most people still live in suburbs and most suburban cities won't be getting a high speed stop. This hurts rail and will further divide the country. ...
And this plan has done more to annoy me than make me feel hopeful for the future because its just more par for the course. Its more going straight for the dessert of public transit (high speed rail) without the meat and veggies being done (local Amtrak service and non rail public transit). And on top of that, they want to use a magical funding mechanism that will likely end up with the public getting bilked on the finances for an expensive train that most people won't be able to afford to ride or even live near where it stops. Oh yeah and it will be private, Amtrak is hardly to be mentioned in any of these plans.
What I posted in the Future Ideas part of the forum would be a better place to start. Which is to start by providing funding for Amtrak state corridors, interstate corridors and new equipment. I'm not being self centered, but I am starting with where we are and trying to be cognizant of that. Not just assuming that we can some how P3 our way to where Europe's rail systems are, which is way more than high speed trains. And we don't have the conventional trains to do the thankless work of carrying people from one town to a town 50 miles away. I get that members of Congress don't care about people like me who don't live in a major urban center, but transit advocacy needs to not forget that either and fall on their face for literally anything that comes along.
thereafter. Then with the PRIIA it became 100% state. This info may not be stated correctly, but in the 1975 Oregon project that was funded, but not approved by the new governor, 50% was the split and Amtrak agreed to credit us with the revenue from tickets sold from points south of Portland to points north of Portland up to and including Seattle and vice versa.
For comparison, in that era, Federal-Aid Primary Highways (typically the old US-highways) were 40% state funded. A permanent federal funding source combined with a 40% state contribution would result in improved service on the existing state routes and some well-considered new routes.