Cato Policy Analysis No. 266 December 19, 1996

Policy Analysis

Amtrak At Twenty End Of The Line For Taxpayer Subsidies

by Jean Love, Wendell Cox, and Stephen Moore

Wendell Cox and Jean Love are economic consultants headquartered in the St. Louis area. They specialize in labor, public finance, and transportation issues in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. Stephen Moore is director of fiscal policy studies at the Cato Institute.

Executive Summary

This year Amtrak is celebrating its silver anniversary. Unfortunately, after 25 years of federal ownership and $13 billion of federal subsidies, Amtrak appears no closer to financial independence than the day taxpayer assistance began. This study shows that virtually every stated justification for continued Amtrak subsidies is based on myth, not reality.

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1996 The Cato Institute
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