For-Profit Passenger Rail Plan Needs Public Money and Why Freight Rail is the Future

by Steve MacDonald

thumbnail_20170925_084415_5_bestshot-1280x640This morning Rich and I spent the segment talking about a so-called for-profit private passenger rail plan with a hitch. This private for-profit plans to tap millions of taxpayer dollars but can only get them if municipalities like Nashua sign up for the ride.

We also discuss other disadvantages of commuter rail and the advantages of freight rail in the age of the internet economy.

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  • roger

    Yeah this is not a big surprise, there isn’t a single mode of “public” or “private” mode of transportation that isn’t subsidized.

    In fact, the roads you drive on are HEAVILY subsidized.

    • granitegrok

      Most roads are public – therefore maintained either by taxes or tolls.

      There are highways that are private – I’ve used them in CA where they present a clear alternative to the horrible and traffic-locked public highways. And yes, I did pay a pretty penny to do so but I had to get from A to B on time and I hate traffic – a worthwhile trade-off.

      • No one is selling the serial and perennial expansions of Route I-93 as a for-profit, privately funded transportation venture.

        But you are otherwise correct. The scope and reach of government makes it almost impossible to do anything without tripping over an agency that needs to tax or fee you and another that has money if you’ll dance to their tune.

        • roger

          Well I like nice roads to to go spend my money liberally and exercise my freedom to contract!

          Idk how you would do it any different? Should every road be built with private money?

      • roger

        I dont get why you think rail is any different? I pay a fee to use it, but that fee doesn’t cover all of the costs. Just like your gas tax and toll does not cover all of the costs of the road maintenance.

        Do you disagree with rail coming to the state? I am curious why?

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