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  • Amtrak

    Budget Conference Spending Cuts: Start with Amtrak Subsidies

    A good place for budget conferees to start cutting federal spending would be at Amtrak, the federally subsidized passenger rail service, with its $72 million loss on its food and beverage service in fiscal year (FY) 2012 and generally poor financial performance. Amtrak’s inspector general Ted Alves states in a … More

    Hurricane Sandy Relief: Billions Spent on Transportation

    Transportation agencies and programs including the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Amtrak, and other transit stand to benefit handsomely from the Senate’s $60.4 billion Hurricane Sandy spending bill, which it will consider this week. Though cast as disaster relief, much of the bill’s spending would not reach … More

    Amtrak Records $834 Million Loss on Food Sales Over Past Decade

    Amtrak spent $1.70 for every dollar it earned on food and beverage sales last year, leading to a loss of $84.5 million on the service, according to information provided to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee this week. Committee Chairman John Mica (R-FL) blasted the “inefficient and wasteful” record of … More

    Company Lobbies for More Federal Funds While Over-billing Amtrak

    A company that has lobbied for greater federal transportation funding may have overcharged the federal government by millions for a construction contract, according to a recent report by federal watchdogs. Watsonville, California-based Granite Construction has been prodding Congress to maintain or increase federal funding for transportation construction projects. The company’s … More

    Obama's High-Speed Spending on Slow-Speed Rail

    Want a fast way to blow some taxpayer dollars? Buy a ticket on President Barack Obama’s high-speed spending trains. High-speed rail is one of the president’s pie-in-the-sky green energy dreams, which would do little to relieve Americans who are suffering the effects of high gasoline prices. The president reaffirmed his … More

    Guest Blog: Fact-Checking DOT Secretary LaHood’s Latest Amtrak Promotion

    As the President’s ambitious passenger rail program falters, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood is attempting to stem defections by presenting the train program as a jobs program. In a recent blog, LaHood stated: In Meridian, Mississippi, for example, a small town mayor leveraged $1.3 million of public dollars and … More

    High Speed Funding in President’s Budget Means More Waste of Taxpayer Dollars

    Elected officials in Washington finally seem to get it that something must be done to reduce federal spending. Last week, House Republicans unveiled a plan to cut $74 billion from President Obama’s budget request for this year, and members of the Republican Study Committee have proposed an even more ambitious … More

    Obama’s High-Speed Sale

    President Obama’s proposed $53-billion more for “high-speed rail” (on top of a previous $10-billion) is a testimony to the power of adjectives. If it were labeled “plain old rail travel” it would lack the pizazz but would be far more accurate.  Understating costs, overstating benefits, and lots of supersonic rhetoric … More

    A Not So Free Ride

    After decades of losing millions of taxpayer dollars, the Senate finally voted this week to privatize the Senate restaurants. If only they would do the same with Amtrak. Heritage senior research fellow Ron Utt looks at this year’s Amtrak reauthorization bill: Since Amtrak’s inception in 1970, the annual business-as-usual bailout … More