Thursday, April 12, 2007 at 8:54 pm

Passenger Rail as Economic Stimulus

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Speaking of Dan Zukowski, he’s impressed with new Amtrak chief Alexander Kummant, particularly for his argument (briefly made here) that public investment in passenger rail promotes economic development.

Mr. Kummant’s comment signals a shift in the conversation. It’s no longer about “subsidies” for passenger trains; it’s about spurring economic development by answering demands for better transportation, revitalized downtowns and more livable cities. Investment in passenger rail is no different than building a sports stadium, hosting an Olympics or opening an airport. Government investment becomes the economic engine that drives private investment.

(Mind you, a sports stadium or the Olympics may not be the best examples to base your case on … )

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