Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Holland Celebrates a Failure

In a story that made us chuckle here at GR Pundit, residents of Holland celebrated twenty years of Amtrak service on Thursday with balloons and a party. They were celebrating a miserable failure.

Amtrak is subsidized to the tune of about $1 billion a year in taxpayer funds. In other words, Amtrak loses $1 billion a year. Since 1971, Amtrak has received $39 billion in taxpayer funds to keep operating. No business in the world would be able to continue to operate like Amtrak does.

But looking at federal dollars is generally easy to dismiss because of the enormity of the federal budget. However, the state of Michigan also subsidizes Amtrak to the tune of $7.1 million a year. The GR Press article says that this funding is split betweek two lines. Since the exact numbers don't seem to be easily available, let's assume that half of the state subsidy goes to the Holland Amtrak line. Since about 73,000 people rode the Holland line last year, that means that Amtrak loses about $47 per rider!

So, as Holland celebrates a disastrous, bloated, inefficient example of government largesse, we giggle.

1 comment:

  1. [...] allow train engineers and conductors to work longer than 12 hours. Incidentally, about 4 years ago there was a celebration in Holland (where the rider jumped off) for the tax-subsidized failure that is Amtrak. At the time the city [...]