Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Archive for October 14th, 2010

Federal government extends Amtrak train for another year

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Breaking news from the Vancouver Sun

It is only a reprieve – not an admission that the Border Services Agency is doing anything wrong.

I imagine that in a little less than a year from now, I will be revisiting this story.

This will give time to Amtrak and the hotel association to analyze the business and see if there is enough volume to continue the service.

There is enough volume to continue the service: it is unlikely that there will be enough volume to enable Amtrak to shell out $800,000 a year for additional border service fees.  That is what the argument is about. There is a significant benefit simply in terms of the amount that gets spent here by people using the train to visit Vancouver. There is also a significant benefit in having a train that allows Canadians to have an alternative to flying or driving. The second train is the one that leaves here in the morning and is thus more appealing to people here than the one that leaves in the afternoon.

Of course, in enlightened countries, getting people out of cars and planes and on to trains instead is recognized as good public policy. Vic Toews has not the slightest idea what the words “good public policy” mean.



Written by Stephen Rees

October 14, 2010 at 5:35 pm

Posted in Railway

Tagged with ,