• #7
    Because not everyone wants to turn everything over to "private sector mercenaries".....Intercit y travel of any kind has enormous fixed costs—purchasing or seizing land for airports or rights-of-way; building highways and railroad tracks; buying, fuelling and operating planes and trains. That’s why governments have traditionally played a large role in air, rail and road travel.
  • #8
    @Sonny - True enough.

    However when we get repeated stories about a government funded form of transportation losing $800 million in food and beverages over a 10 year period through employee doesn't make good financial sense to keep the program.

    When we sell Hamburgers on Amtrack for 9.50 but our cost to make them is $16.15 then something is wrong.

    The problems arise when the red-tape to fire someone from a government job gets so binding that it can only be done on rare occasions.
  • #34
    @CanisCanemEdit you speak not of there being a problem with the fact that government regulates amtrack, but rather with how government manages amtrack.

    Am track will work better when we automate more of the human jobs involved in the buissness and let machines run it
  • #40
    @MrGrey - Regulation is the role of government...unfortunately.

    I can find nothing, anywhere where anything the government has run as a service to the public where it was run efficiently or at a break even...let alone a profit.
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  • #14
    What this reall is, is another prime example of goverment SHOULD NOT manage anything. The fewer employees and the smaller we can keep federal goverment the better off we will al be. The bureaucracy is so vast and overwelming that never will they be able to keep tabs on everything that they should. Add to that the patronage employment is most often exempt from appropriate discipline anyway. It will always be a lose, lose,lose situation.
  • #41
    does anyone know how much goverment subsidy is given for each ticket sold? Would rail exist if there were no goverment subsidy? Why should goverment subsidize personal transportation? How about a little subsidy for four dollar gas?
  • #10
    So that's the reason those trains are always jumping the track!!! Drinking,
    drugging...and engineering a passenger train! I say no more funding. Period.
  • #31
    The trouble with drug testing is that marijuana shows up for a long time after being smoked.
    Alcohol and other drugs can be washed away in a couple of days. Of course, there is nothing wrong with an employee having a couple of beers or drinks or a bowl after work and on days off.
  • #26
    seems to me all who test dirty for any kind of dope or booze should lose the job on the spot,from the president down to the dog catcher.
    zero tolerance should be the rule of thumb no excuses.
  • #30
    By this logic no one who receives federal subsidies would do a good job. Therefore wealthy tax-filers who receive a subsidy via tax loopholes and "deferred compensation" dodges would not exert themselves. You may have just produced the principle that prevents tax cuts for the wealthy from creating new jobs. ;-)
  • #16

    I like train travel too but in these tight ecnomic times the taxpayer shouldn't subsidize it. If Amtrak were to not exist, I'm sure that passenger and freight trains would be combined just as they once were. Probably with better service and cheaper fares. FWIW, it's cheaper to fly from St. Louis to Albuquerque than to take a train.(At least it was when I checked.)
  • #25
    Haven't you ever noticed who mostly uses the Amtrak's trains on the east coast? I'll give ya a clue -- their supposed to make & pass laws for this country, but they're a bunch of worthless AH's.
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  • #59
    The report says: "SUMMARY OF RESULTS
    Amtrak’s HOS employees are testing positive for drugs and alcohol more frequently than their peers in the railroad industry. Our analysis of Amtrak’s random drug and alcohol test results shows that these employees have been testing positive for drugs and alcohol at a rate that has been generally trending upward since 2006, and this rate has exceeded the industry average for the past 5 years. The majority of Amtrak’s positive tests since 2006 were for drugs, primarily cocaine and marijuana. In 2011, Amtrak had 17 positive tests for drugs or alcohol, which resulted in a combined positive test rate that was about 51 percent above the industry average, its worst rate since 2007. The 2011 rate was driven by a relatively large number of positive tests by signals and mechanical employees that were both over four times the rate of their peers in the industry. Based on the random test data, we calculated, with 95-percent confidence, that if all 4,454 HOS employees had been tested in 2011, between 21 and 65 of these employees would have tested positive for drug use, with a best estimate of 43 employees. We also calculated that between 4 and 32 of Amtrak’s HOS employees would have tested positive for alcohol use, with a best estimate of 18 employees.
  • #58
    boring job leads people to party.....that must have been a real breakthrough moment for scientists everywhere.....but seriously if they arent driving the train....does it really matter if your waitress smoked a bowl on her last day off? Fire the ones doing it ON THE JOB. Keep your party at home and I'm all for it.
  • #53
    Give them drug tests and fire them if they don't pass! That is a serious safety concern! Can you imagine the amount of the law suit if someone were injured because the Engineer is loaded?!
  • #49
    So what is missing here? The problems resulting in the usage. It's like we are purposing a solution (that doesn't work) to a problem that doesn't exist. Why not monitor their eating? Are we checking to make sure they are wearing eyeglasses if they require them? How about the clothes they are wearing to ensure proper protection during inclement weather? Are they taking the medication they doctors have prescribed to ensure optimal performance at work? How about their multivitamin? Lots of germs they come in contact in confined spaces you know.
  • #48
    fire 'em,,,people are looking for jobs. Lets see what drug testing will do for law enforcement and fire putter outers,and elected people.
  • #39
    The workers should have the right to do whatever drug they wish. The business should have the right to not work or pay them any longer. I would also like to add that Amtrak, nor any other company should be getting subsidized by tax.dollars.
  • #32
    I'm surprised that there isn't a higher incidence of meth use.
    I know that in a effort to keep us driving longer and sleeping less, many capitalist managers, owners, bosses encourage cab, truck and bus drivers to use meth.
    I refuse to drive my cab more than 10 hours per day and I have had management suggest that perhaps I should start tweeking!
    Sorry, I need my 4 hours of sleep per day.
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