Transportation Policy

Why High-Speed Rail Fails as a Jobs Program

Obama's plan for commuter trains won't stimulate the economy

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The only major transportation program inserted into the $787 billion federal stimulus package was $8 billion for so-called high-speed rail. The Obama administration later added another $5 billion to the passenger rail kitty, bringing the federal commitment to $13 billion. The administration's initiative, however, may soon become a potent symbol of the economic stimulus program's failures.

In April, President Barack Obama claimed "my high speed rail proposal will lead to innovations in the way we travel" and new rail lines "will generate many thousands of construction jobs over several years, as well as permanent jobs for rail employees and increased economic activity in the destinations these trains serve."

Even House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.), who voted against the stimulus bill, now wildly praises rail's job-creation potential, writing, "It is estimated that creating a high-speed railway through Virginia will generate as many as 185,500 jobs, as much as $21.2 billion in economic development, and pull nearly 6.5 million cars off the road annually. Providing a high-speed rail service from Washington, D.C. to Richmond will drive economic development throughout our region for many years to come."

Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm calls the Midwest high-speed rail corridor a "one-of-a-kind partnership that will create jobs for Michigan workers, enhance transportation options for citizens, and provide significant economic development opportunities for communities."

Parroting estimates made by the Association of American Railroads, Gov. Granholm claims that a $1 billion  investment in rail will generate 20,000 jobs. The $1 billion estimate for "investment" refers to construction, maintenance, and the purchase of equipment such as locomotives and train cars to run on rail lines.

Setting aside Rep. Cantor's ludicrous 185,000 job creation claims—which are so unreasonably high as to strain credibility, let alone plausibility—even the 20,000 jobs per billion dollars spent figure cited by Gov. Granholm would represent a very expensive public jobs program. At the most basic level, that works out to $50,000 per job and would likely represent a subsidy higher than the wages paid to the typical worker.

There are, in fact, better and cheaper ways to create jobs. For example, the federal government could give tax credits to private firms that create new jobs. This type of new jobs subsidy would run about $20,000 per worker and spur up to 1.3 million jobs according analysis by the Upjohn Institute for Employment Research in Michigan.

Of course, rail proponents argue that spending money now on high-speed rail is a long-term investment that will pay off in higher economic productivity over the long-haul. But these job creation and income estimates they use are based on spending for freight rail, not passenger rail.

Freight rail in America is a crucial part of our transportation infrastructure, accounting for 43 percent of the shipment of goods and services from one city to the other. Thus, investments in freight rail have a direct impact on the bottom line for American businesses, increasing the speed and reliability of goods shipment and improving productivity.

Passenger rail in the U.S. is a different story. Passenger rail currently carries a very small portion of city-to-city travel—the market targeted by high-speed rail—and it's likely to remain modest well into the future. In 2008, Amtrak carried 28.7 million passengers. By comparison, there were 687 million airline passengers in 2008, in part because air service provides frequent high-speed travel to geographically distant cities. Then there's our well-developed highway network that makes automobiles very competitive with rail for distances under 200 miles. In most cases, once travel and wait times to train stations are factored in, travelers will spend as much time in route on the train as they will in a car.

Consider a trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco, or Chicago to St. Louis, for a typical high-speed train traveler. You'll likely have to drive to the train station and pay to park. Once arriving in downtown St. Louis or San Francisco, you will likely have to take a taxi or rent a car to get to your hotel or meeting place (which is likely to be outside the central business district). The reliable, diverse, and nimble transit system that many advocates envision surrounding high-speed rail stations simply doesn't exist in most cities today, limiting the appeal of trains. To compensate for these disadvantages, taxpayers will have to steeply subsidize train ticket prices for the business travelers and tourists that are most likely to use them.

Ultimately, high-speed rail's impacts on American travel patterns and employment productivity are going to be negligible, and the actual job creation potential for high speed rail is much more modest than proponents admit.

Take, for example, the Ohio Hub corridor linking Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, and Toledo to regional destinations such as Chicago and Toronto. Ohio is one of the nation's largest state economies, employing 5.3 million people. As an old-line manufacturing state, Ohio has lost 300,000 jobs just in the past year. Needless to say, Ohioans will be attracted to the optimistic rhetoric of rail's job creation potential. Moreover, preliminary estimates by independent consultants suggest the Ohio Hub may actually cover its annual operating costs (although supporters are counting on the federal government covering 80 percent of capital costs of the $3.7 billion project).

Yet, even with these federal subsidies the consultant reports suggest that a $2.3 billion investment in building the rail corridor would generate only 54,540 jobs over the projected nine-year construction phase. That works out to 2,635 jobs per year at a cost of $42,170 per job. Further analysis found 16,700 permanent jobs would be created by the system once the system was up and running, assuming optimistically that ridership reaches forecasted levels and fares are set to cover its operating costs. While that might seem like a lot of jobs, the effort will do little to stem the economic tide turning against Ohio and other states facing the headwinds of global competition and a rising services-based economy.

For transportation investments to have a meaningful economic impact, they will need to cost-effectively improve America's ability to move goods, services, and people from one place to another. High-speed rail doesn't do that. It is an extremely costly way to achieve limited portions of these goals, and it inevitably fails as a broad-based solution to the country's transportation challenges.

In the end, high-speed rail's contribution to the economic recovery and the nation's economic productivity is being oversold. Elected officials, from Rep. Cantor to President Obama, would do a far greater service to the public's understanding of the economy if they would focus on economic fundamentals, not glitzy boutique policy programs that will inevitably fail to meet grandiose expectations they have created for them.

Sam Staley, Ph.D., is director of urban growth and land use policy for Reason Foundation and co-author of Mobility First: A New Vision for Transportation in a Globally Competitive 21st Century (Rowman & Littlefield). This column first appeared at Reason.org. Reason Foundation's transportation research and commentary is here.

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  1. “…and pull nearly 6.5 million cars off the road annually.”

    Somebody sold this guy some really BAAAAAD crack.

    If they’re going to spend this money, why don’t they overhaul the electrical and phone grid with it? I’d rather be able to download full on 1080p movies in a timely manner instead of having to see the creation and life of this gaudy monstrosity they want to build that I’ll have no use from.

    Sorry, I’ll take driving over ANY other form of travel any day.

  2. “…and pull nearly 6.5 million cars off the road annually.”

    If they’re going to spend this money, why don’t they subsidize those flying cars we were all promised in our youth would be here by now? That would get cars off the road, am I right, people?

  3. Somebody cue the “Monorail” lyrics copy-and-paste guy.

  4. I like trains and have looked to take Amtrak for cross country trips a couple of times, but the schedules are emblematic of the challenge of trying to build a system that offers serious competition to the airlines and highways. A one-way trip from Chicago to Atlanta takes *30* hours on the train, with a stopover near in VA or DC.

    The amtrak ‘city of new orleans’ is (or was) a nice way to make the trip from Chicago to downstate IL, however. That’s partly because it’s heavily subsidized, resulting in student-friendly fares.

    Perhaps a free market case can be made for these sorts of routes. In the case above, the train offers a good way to get to a destination not served by airlines and is actually faster than driving the speed limit. Those are the sorts of advantages people will pay for. Can anybody point to studies making the case that deregulation would aid passenger rail in some cases ?

  5. I hear those things are awfully loud

  6. “Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm calls the Midwest high-speed rail corridor a “one-of-a-kind partnership”

    Spoken like a veteran whore who became a high-end madam. That woman has no shame.

  7. Por favor mantenganse alejado de las puertas.

  8. This is stupid. What we need is the government to fund research on a teleporter system to get from point A to point B How many cars will THAT take off the road?

    “Hey, if we can put a man on the moon…”

    (just keep it away from Jeff Goldblum… and Jim Traficant)

  9. There’s something about a train.

  10. “Smithers, are they saying ‘boo’ or ‘boo-urns’?”

  11. Why are they trying to take cars off the road? I thought we wanted people to buy more cars because our manufacturers are too big to fail. If all the cars are electrics and hybrids going forward why the need to take them off the road at all? And this could potentially hurt the airlines, too. Aren’t we already trying to keep them all afloat?

    My FSM, these politicians are dense.

  12. Were you sent here by the devil?

  13. My city (Norfolk, VA) is running a $45 million deficit right now ’cause we just gotsta have us some light rail.

    Thanks to all the roads they’ve torn up or blocked downtown in order to lay tracks, businesses are closing right and left because customers can’t get to them. Then the paper runs scads of editorials wondering why the recession is still getting worse around here.

  14. I took a shit in Norfolk once.

  15. But, but, but…the Europeans and Japanese have them. How backward does the U.S. want to be? And some of them countries have kings and whatnot too. Hey, being for liberty was fine 233 years ago, but we modern Americans thirst for old-world ways of kleptocracy and knowing our place with our betters. Better relearn the forelock tug.

  16. The monorail revived North Haverbrook.

  17. Cantor should lose his leadership position for such blasphomy. Virginia Republicans that encourage infrastructure expansion so that Washington can continue growing are part of the problem. My only hope is the terrorists will target the trains and the nostalgic fools riding them instead of the airlines.

  18. My old man worked for various railroads for over 40 years. They have always been heavily subsidized just so they could be competitive when it came to freight. They have been hopeless for passenger service ever since the interstate system went into place. And talk about union HEAVY.

    If you want to see the direction GM will take, look at the history of railroads.

  19. Little harsh, don’t you think James?

  20. I took a shit in Norfolk once.

    You’ve done pretty much all there is to do here.

  21. King, a bomb could go off at the Harvard School of Government and kill less liberals than one going off on a train headed to Washington DC.

  22. Guys take it easy with the bombing reference, you don’t want Reason being confused with Free Republic.

    Oh and I saw Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat in Norfolk once. So that’s 2 things you can do there.

  23. Think I’ll stick with shitting…

  24. Oh and I saw Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat in Norfolk once. So that’s 2 things you can do there.

    Also there are red pandas at the zoo. Three things.

  25. So basically, you can just shit on a red panda while wearing a horrible fashion statement, and move on down the road? Kewl.

  26. Sorry Inspector, my comments were uncalled for. High speed rail proposals have that effect on me.

  27. Metra is Chicago’s commuter train service. It has a huge impact in reducing rush-hour traffic. Last night half the trains out of the city were running an hour late because Union Pacific can’t afford working switches. But making your existing program work just isn’t as high profile as building the NEXT boondoggle.

  28. I hear those things are awfully loud

    Which is one of the reasons the California project will never be completed. The same yuppies in my neighborhood who voted it in don’t want it routed too close to our neighborhood.

  29. I think high speed rail would be cool. If they built it I would probably use it. I just hope they don’t throw money down that rat hole. I don’t think it is a useful way to spend money.

  30. “I took a shit in Norfolk once.

    You’ve done pretty much all there is to do here.”

    Yeah, but what did you do the second week you were there?

    I was stationed there for a few years. Granted, that was in the mid 90’s, so some stuff may have changed…for the better, or the worse 😉

  31. King, a bomb could go off at the Harvard School of Government and kill less liberals than one going off on a train headed to Washington DC….let’s see that two bombs, come folks do we need a fund raiser here or what?

  32. Granted, that was in the mid 90’s, so some stuff may have changed…

    Well, they’re building a shit-ton of condos all over the place, despite the fact that Norfolk is one of the fastest-shrinking cities in the country, populationwise. The city owns Waterside now and is busily revoking the alcohol licenses of all the bars where sailors go to meet sluts. The Midtown and Downtown tunnels take turns flooding every time it rains. There’s a cruise ship port and a bunch of new office towers downtown. Also, as i mentioned, there are red pandas at the zoo.

  33. You guys should be cheering on public transit, because it leaves more room on the road for mustache-twirling libertarians who are willing to fork over the higher cost. Yeah it’s run by horrible unions but that’s not insurmountable. And yeah HSR is largely a boondoggle anywhere outside the NE corridor. But this “Monorail!” schtick is getting old. I know big cities are scary, but you can’t move a big city on just cars.

  34. Rhywun, the topic is “high speed rail”, ie, between cities. No one is saying NYC and Chicago shouldn’t have rail systems in the densely populated areas.

  35. And the “monorail” schtick refers to small or medium cities building hugely expensive rail systems instead of developing a much cheaper bus system. But keep being defensive, if it works for you.

  36. i absolutely don’t get the writer’s comparison for (say) la to san francisco.

    fist, let’s skip car- it’s a damn long drive, a dangerous one, and subject to a lot of traffic jams. that’s more suitable to, say, la to santa barbara.

    so we have the train versus plane comparison. let’s break it down:

    drive to the airport/ drive to the train station, park. i’ve never experienced train parking as time-consuming as airport parking at a megaplex like sfo or lax. train can have center city and one or two suburban stops, so the drive to get the conveyance is more likely to be shorter for a train. planes don’t go to center city anyway.

    ok, we are at the train station. we printed out our ticket, so we get on the train. 10 minutes. we get to the airport. check-in/baggage check lines out of dante. then get out your i.d. and prepare to spend the next hour dealing with the t.s.a. unless, of course, you actually wanted to have a bottle of your favorite beverage with you. or toothpaste. or mashed potatoes. then, go directly to “full cavity search.”

    ok, a high-speed train will take 2.5-3 hours la to sf. flight is an hour.

    you get off the train near where you need to be and either bus, cab, bart, or rent a car.

    airplane, same, but you’re less likely close to where you want to be. you’re probably not having your meeting at the airport…

    ok, so time-wise, door-to-door, planes are at best a wash with high speed rail, but hugely more difficult and stressful. and far more subject to weather delay.

    the writer’s care is valid only if you live near the source airport and your meeting is at the destination airport. and even there, it’s probably a loser, because modern high speed trains (e.g., tgv) stop at the airport, too.

  37. I hear those things are awfully loud

    Seriously? No real response for this ridiculous claim? It glides as softly as a cloud!

    Guys take it easy with the bombing reference, you don’t want Reason being confused with Free Republic.

    Stick with the “can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a…” type comment. The only ones to target Reason then would be PETA, and no one gives an eff what they think.

  38. edna, you’ve just enumerated a bunch of benefits of high-speed rail. Now, how about listing all of the costs?

    I get frustrated with people that, when thinking about matters of public policy, consider only the benefits while never considering costs. It’s the way a child thinks makes decisions.

    By the way, what makes you think that we would build some astronomically expensive high-speed rail line and then not have TSA checking out everyone who boards the thing?

  39. By the way, what makes you think that we would build some astronomically expensive high-speed rail line and then not have TSA checking out everyone who boards the thing?

    that’s a potential problem. though i note that the europeans have managed to avoid that.

    another potential problem is using shitty trains and tracks rather than modeling on the tgv, thalys, or i.c.e.

    it is indeed possible to fuck up trains as badly as we’ve fucked up planes. it’s just not necessary, and trains are a more viable option than this writer allows (his “con” arguments are ginned up).

  40. @ edna

    If you are going to fly to sf from la, you are probably not going to leave from LAX. Instead you would probably leave from Burbank or Ontario depending where you live. It is much easier to park and get through security at these smaller regional airports.

  41. # Mike Laursen | August 18, 2009, 9:57am | #
    ## I hear those things are awfully loud

    # Which is one of the reasons the California
    # project will never be completed. The same
    # yuppies in my neighborhood who voted it in
    # don’t want it routed too close to our
    # neighborhood.

    Several comments:

    1. Assuming a cost-effective, high-capacity, high-speed rail system will exist someday, it should NOT be routed through existing suburban neighborhoods and city centers. Instead, some kind of feeder/drainer system should connect to it so that you can “enter the system” at a “neighborhood friendly” facility near your point of departure, and soon find yourself on a HSR train, headed toward your destination hub, where you will continue on to a corresponding, neighborhood-friendly terminus near your destination. Think major arteries and capillaries. A Personal Rapid Transit system (e.g., something similar in concept to what is going in at Heathrow Airport right now to serve Terminal 5), could serve the capillary function well, and provide cost-effective local transport in the bargain. See http://www.atsltd.co.uk/.

    2. Both the expense and noise of high-speed rail could be mitigated by selecting appropriate technology. For example, people often deride the expense and complexity of maglev, but that approach does lead to quieter operation at high speed. It so happens that at least one company, American Maglev Technology, Inc., of Powder Springs GA (Atlanta area), has developed an effective maglev technology that is energy efficient, inexpensive to construct, and capable of smooth, quiet rides at high speeds. They have a demonstration track and prototype car outside Atlanta. Those who have visited, including various transportation officials and academic groups, have been impressed. See http://american-maglev.com/index.php?Itemid=26&id=5&option=com_content&task=view. Their goal is to allow construction for not more than $20M per mile, which, if I recall correctly, is quite a bit cheaper than the HSR estimates we have seen so far.

    3. Awhile back, I did a back-o-the-napkin calculation, extrapolating the cost of the Hindenburg-class Zeppelin and its operating costs into current dollars. It seemed to me that, without having to create much, if any infrastructure, we could have the equivalent throughput of HSR, using the same fare structrure, by employing a continuously circulating fleet of modern-day dirigibles, which would be similar to, but larger than, those now providing luxury air tours of various California regions. The thing that killed the Zeppelin was the US embargo of helium to Germany. But we have lots of it, so there is no longer any chance of a fiery Hindenburg-style disaster, and dirigible flight is very cost-efficient. You’d think that those many activists who want to save the environment, and who voted for HSR to pull umpty-ump million cars “off the road” would at least seriously entertain the dirigible alternative. But no. Instead, they find themselves advocating the tearing up of the landscape and the disturbing of the environment with HSR infrastructure construction (including tens of miles of tunnels to avoid NIMBY objections). I’d rather fly than take a train, any day. The interesting thing about modern dirigibles is that they don’t need airports. They can be moored pretty much anywhere, which allows for slashing infrastructure costs to the bone. Plus, dirigibles can be built and put into service in a handful of years, as opposed to the decade or more that it will take to inaugurate even the first leg of HSR, never mind the entire system. To get a sense of modern dirigible technology, see http://www.airshipventures.com/theship.php.

  42. The city owns Waterside now and is busily revoking the alcohol licenses of all the bars where sailors go to meet sluts.

    That is truly an outrage. Dive sailor bars are a Norfolk and U.S. Navy tradition.

  43. It is much easier to park and get through security at these smaller regional airports.

    not so much burbank anymore, but yes, there is some airport diversity in la. not so in sf, where oakland has gotten just as bad and san jose is maybe worse.

    of course, i threw off my california chains last year, so now i can bitch and moan about the lack of a good high speed train from here (austin, tx) to dallas.

  44. Here’s a question: if this is such a wonderful idea and has such a huge potential for profit and economic growth, why hasn’t it already been done? Why does it require taxpayer money? Could it be… *gasp* … lack of demand? Lack of potential? Lack of practicality? I love the idea of high speed rail – particularly magnetic rail. I think it has tons of potential as a competitor for other forms of long range transportation, once the economic equation becomes balanced. Stop subsidizing fuel, car production, and roads and stop taxing competition into oblivion and maybe that equation will balance sooner, eh?

  45. James: that’s some great info. Provided you’re not advocating it be paid for by the state, I’d love to see some of these ideas put into action. I particularly love airships, so seeing them in the sky would be wonderful. What are the current barriers that are stopping these technologies from being deployed? Regulatory? Lack of investment? Consumer faith?

  46. Justen, not my answer to your question, but one I’ve heard: There will be private investment, but it’s too expensive for private industry to handle alone. Plus the government needs to be heavily involved because of right-of-way and possible eminent domain issues.

    In the case of the L.A. to San Francisco project, the “there will be private investment” claim is B.S. as far as I know.

  47. I am sorry to inform you, but spending money on ANYTHING “stimulates” the economy, as the economy is, by definition, spending.

    Now, of course, spending money on one thing means you are not spending on something else, so that is a wash. On the other hand, if you are spending money largely borrowed from outside the specific economy in question (say, money from China or the Saudis), and spending that money largely within that specific economy, you WILL boost that economy in the short term.

    I don’t understand why this is hard for people to understand. I think they get blinded by partisanship and fail to see the obvious. Perhaps if they thought about a local analogy. Imagine if you borrowed a billion dollars from a major Wall Street bank and spent it on a major project in your home town. Could you do this WITHOUT “stimulating” your local economy? Of course not. Why you think anything changes when we expand this to the international level is beyond me.

  48. Mike Laursen | August 18, 2009, 6:30pm | #
    Justen, not my answer to your question, but one I’ve heard: There will be private investment, but it’s too expensive for private industry to handle alone. Plus the government needs to be heavily involved because of right-of-way and possible eminent domain issues

    How about the obvious: Passenger rail is competing against massively-subsidized competition. Duh.

    As I pointed out the other day: The federal gas tax amounts to about one cent per mile driven. Yet semi-private turnpikes typically cost about four cents per mile, plus a transaction fee. These turnpikes almost always receive various subsidies as well in addition to the fees.

    Now, this leaves only two possibilities.

    1: The government can actually build interstates at one cent per mile driven, making it four times better than the private market, or

    2: The federal interstate system is subsidized every which-way to Sunday.

    I don’t think you like the consequences of either choice.

  49. I am sorry to inform you, but spending money on ANYTHING “stimulates” the economy, as the economy is, by definition, spending.

    You’re wrong off the bat. Look up something called the “broken window fallacy”. Economic health is about creation of wealth, not spending per se.

  50. How about the obvious: Passenger rail is competing against massively-subsidized competition. Duh.

    So, if we didn’t subsidize competing modes of travel, passenger rail would do better. Sounds good to me. I like train travel.

  51. Mike Laursen | August 19, 2009, 12:57am | #

    You’re wrong off the bat. Look up something called the “broken window fallacy”. Economic health is about creation of wealth, not spending per se.

    I am quite aware of the broken window fallacy, but apparently you are not aware of how GDP is actually measured.

    You would be correct in pointing out, however, that GDP is an awful measure and includes a lot of broken windows, both public and private.

  52. Err, thanks, for making your own argument against your argument. Saved me the trouble. Guess I’ll go have a latte or something.

  53. No, Mike. If you are going to say that the economy is something other than GDP, and do it right, you will need to include a LOT of “broken windows” that the private market inflicts upon us.

    Spending money on ANYTHING will boost GDP. Whether HSR is a good long-term investment is another question entirely.

  54. If you are going to say that the economy is something other than GDP, and do it right, you will need to include a LOT of “broken windows” that the private market inflicts upon us.

    Please give an example. I’m not sure what you had in mind when you said that.

  55. And, also, can we distinguish in this conversation between the economy and methods of measuring the economy. Those are two different things.

  56. Mike Laursen | August 19, 2009, 1:30pm | #

    Please give an example. I’m not sure what you had in mind when you said that.

    Probably the biggest problem with GDP is that it does not account at all for resource depletion and environmental damage. There are numerous projects out there that boost GDP that would be decidedly negative (ie, broken windows) if all their costs were included.

    Any sort of “planned obsolence” is another example. My favorite example of something like this concerns a particular consumer-product company that came across a truly “innovative” way to boost sales by 20%; significantly increasing the size of the spout on its product. Now, I am sure all you libertarians believe that this “innovation” caused consumers to just fall so in love with this age-old product after all these years that demand instantly jumped. Anyone else on earth would know that all that happened is that people were wasting more of it because the new spout made it difficult to use a small amount.

    But hey, GDP went up, right?

  57. I don’t mind reading the articles, even when I can clearly see the gaping holes in the arguments, but I guess I’m pretty much going to have to avoid the comments section since it’s little more than a swamp of useless cynicism and sarcasm.

  58. Stanley claims the inconvenience of a typical train trip – driving to the station, boardng a train, arriving at destination station, then hailing a taxi or renting a car to make the final leg of the trip. This applies to an air trip as well, just tack on another 2 hours for getting around the detached airport complexes. Airports require more space, and require more coordination time for travelers. I’d much prefer to take a total 4 hour LA-SF rail trip and end up actually in the center of the city.

  59. My only point is that if you take the Bible straight, as I’m sure many of Reasons readers do, you will see a lot of the Old Testament stuff as absolutely insane. Even some cursory knowledge of Hebrew and doing some mathematics and logic will tell you that you really won’t get the full deal by just doing regular skill english reading for those books. In other words, there’s more to the books of the Bible than most will ever grasp. I’m not concerned that Mr. Crumb will go to hell or anything crazy like that! It’s just that he, like many types of religionists, seems to take it literally, take it straight…the Bible’s books were not written by straight laced divinity students in 3 piece suits who white wash religious beliefs as if God made them with clothes on…the Bible’s books were written by people with very different mindsets..

  60. When it comes to ridership numbers, Amtrak is having their best year ever this year, despite the fact that gasoline prices have not spiked all year. Why? Because the nation is talking about train travel, and people are curious.

    travel by train is not to be seen as a job program, but as a way to keep us from bleeding every direction to pay for car travel. I discuss the full formula in the link above.

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