Amtrak needs new management plan

Amtrak needs new management plan

I was pleased to see the article ''Republican Cost-Cutters Track Amtrak,'' March 15, but am baffled by one critical omission: Air and highway transport is also heavily subsidized, and that, in effect, is a subsidy for private industry.

I am not much of a defender of Amtrak, but I use it. When Amtrak works, it's excellent; but you can't overlook the condition of trains, fractured service, and the overworked staff. Certainly, Amtrak has systemic problems and needs serious overhaul; but the privatization paradigm doesn't make sense unless you consider federally funding railbeds, where Amtrak owns the trains and uses the rails for free.

Amtrak's subsidy is too high, but in perspective, hardly outrageous. The best answer for Amtrak is reliable funding and capital investment, and a competent management plan.

James Justen, Minneapolis

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