New Amtrak President David Gunn on Amtrak Economics.
From the Jim Lehrer NewsHour, Thursday, June 13, 2002.
for the full transcript.
There's a lot of mythology about Amtrak's economics.
Everything loses money. In other words, people will say it's the long-distance trains,
and if you got rid of them, the corridor would be a profitable company. Not so.
The passenger movement or transportation market in the United States is thoroughly subsidized,
whether it's highway, airlines or rail.
And what's happened, like the basic structure of Amtrak is the northeast corridor covers most
of its operating costs, the costs of the train crews and maintenance of the cars and so forth,
but it does not cover its capital expenses. And we have an enormous deficit in that area.
Long distance trains have little capital needs, but they have a big operating subsidy.