Mineta is at it again!
In a speech delivered before an audience at the Amtrak Station in Mobile, Alabama, Mr. Norman Mineta once more gives evidence that the closest he gets to understanding the Railroad Industry is when his car gets stopped at a grade crossing and he has to learn the names of Railroad Companies as the freight cars roll by!
The executive summary is that Amtrak should take on the same spirit as the Alaska Railroad (ARR) does as it markets itself to local customers! Of course, he forgets that the ARR has received LOTS of Federal Subsidies over the years, and was actually owned and operated at one time by the Federal Railroad Administration. Luckily the ARR survived that episode! Anyone also familiar with the operations of the ARR knows that it is more like the American Orient Express, or some other tourist railroad than operating over the checkerboard of properties, agreements, and government jurisdictions such as Amtrak. Once again, go here for some good opinions about Mr. Mineta.
Indications are coming in that if President Bush is listening too much to Mr. Mineta, others are not and are about to act quite differently. Amtrak President and CEO David Gunn had this to say recently. It is as frank and honest of a discussion of Amtrak's financial condition, as the man himself.
Also, The House, including several Republicans who are starting to defect from the GOP party line as well, is proposing a viable option according to this article in The Baltimore Sun.
Finally, read this editorial from The Detroit Free Press.
Yes, the Dems are Off-the-Wall and deceitful when it comes to the Senate debate over the Up-and-Down Vote of Federal Judges, but the Administration is equally Off-the-Wall when it comes to the issue of Amtrak. Support for their funding proposal is eroding, precisely as it should be.