House Republicans are once again pushing a proposal to dismantle Amtrak, by carving up the national network and awarding private investors the right to build and operate high-speed rail service between Washington and Boston. While the highly profitable Northeast Corridor would be privatized under the GOP plan, less profitable routes would remain part of the Amtrak system and ultimately be starved of federal subsidies.
Rep. Corrine Brown (D-FL) was among those who rejected the GOP proposal and argued that public transportation systems, whether highways, air travel or railways, all required federal financial support. “There is no form of transportation that supports itself,” said Brown at a recent hearing of the House Transportation Committee. “I don’t support cherry-picking the best routes in our system and turning them over to the private sector.”