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Reps. Mica and Shuster: Private rail is the way to go

(The following appeared on The Hill’s website on March 14, 2011.)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Two key Republicans said Monday the federal government should not be in the business of building more railways — because that’s the private sector’s job.

“Amtrak’s plan doesn’t cut it," House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.) said in a statement. "Amtrak operates a Soviet-style passenger rail service, with a high rate of subsidization by the taxpayers. Last year, every single Amtrak ticket was underwritten by $54.48."

He and Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), chairman of the Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials supanel, say that new railways are needed but that private businesses are better suited to build and operate them.

Shuster's committee held a hearing last week to find ways to increase private investment in rail, measures he and Mica touted Monday. Their stance comes as a transportation advocacy group, the American Public Transportation Association, called Monday for more public transit to be built to combat rising gas prices.

The full story appears at www.TheHill.com.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

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