Train service here is a waste of money
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There seems to be a lot of misinformation and emotion tied to public transportation.
In recent years, there have been occasional letters to the editor suggesting that the local bus service would thrive if only it were private. The reality is that there is no public transport system in the world that breaks even, much less makes a profit.
The primary reason that American railroads make a profit and that the airlines eke out a small profit is that they haul freight. Without freight, neither the railroads nor the airlines would remain in private hands.
Our society has deemed public transportation to be important but it also recognizes that a fair and balanced approach on what to fund and by how much is required.
In major cities it probably makes sense, both financially as well as logistically, to support mass transit in some form. Public support of transportation outside of major cities, however, must be balanced by the existence of other means of transport and whether it makes sense to support something that may only benefit a small handful of people.
In many large cities, Pittsburgh included, a large percentage of the population must rely on public transportation as their only means of getting around. When a small number of people choose to utilize a train service that is not very reliable, not very efficient and costs considerably more than other available modes of transportation, the time has come to say, enough.
There is no legitimate reason to continue throwing money at the dismal train service between Pittsburgh and Harrisburg.
First Published February 11, 2013 12:00 am