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20 these six countries have a combined population of

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Unformatted text preview: f travel, despite massive taxpayer subsidies for rail . They are shifting their travel to unsubsidized, taxpaying airlines, which expanded their market share from 6.5 percent in 1995 to 8.6 percent in 2008. Indeed, by 2008, passenger rail’s share of the transportation market was the lowest of all modes, except travel by sea and motorcycles. [19] Although the total size and scope of European subsidies for passenger rail are not known, a recent report by Amtrak’s Inspector General indicated that they are sizable and likely exceed what the U.S. government pays for highways. One purpose of the review was to address the contention that passenger rail in other countries, especially HSR, operates at a profit (that is, without subsidies). For 1995–2006, the study found that the governments of Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Spain, Denmark, and Austria spent “a combined total of $42 billion annually on their national passenger railroads.” [20] These six countries have a combined population of 269 million, and their expenditure of $42 billion on passenger rail in 2006[21] is roughly proportional to the $54.8 billion that the government of the United States (population of 309 million) spent on all forms of transportation, including highways, rail, aviation, water transport, and mass transit.[22] Data from individual countries reveal the financial catastrophes that the U.S. could confront if it embraces Euro-style passenger rail programs. According to the left-leaning The Economist, passenger rail subsidies reached $8.9 billion in 2008– 2009, and the magazine wondered: It is not clear why the public should be heavily subsidizing a mode of transport that accounts for a tiny minority of all travel: 8% of the total distance travelled in Britain during 2009, compared with 85% by cars and vans. The relatively few who use railways often are disproportionately well-off: three-fifths of the traffic is concentrated in the wealthy commuting counties of the south-east.[23] Despite these massive subsidies, rail ticket prices are still comparatively high. At present, two people traveling from Heathrow airport to downtown London can hire a limousine that meets them at the baggage claim and takes them directly to their destination for less than the cost of taking the Heathrow Express to Paddington Station and then taking the Tube or a taxi to their final destination. 18 | P a g e Mass Transit Negative BDL No Solvency – No Riders [____] Only works in urban areas with lots of jobs- most of the country won’t use it O’Toole, 2010 - senior fellow at the Cato Institute (Randal, “Fixing Transit The Case for Privatization”, 11/10, http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/PA670.pdf) At best, all this money has done is arrest the decline in transit ridership. In 1944, about 84 million Americans lived in urban areas, and they rode transit an average of 275 times a year. Since that year, per capita urban ridership declined steadily to 60 trips per year in 1965 and less than 50 trips per year in 1970. Since then, it has fluctuated—mainly i...
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