I’m really trying to find a conservative blog that doesn’t let ideology trump facts, but it’s tough out there. Today’s example comes from OTB’s Doug Mataconis:
Additionally, as Mitch Berg notes, one wonders if this is really necessary:
Of course, except for the tiny fragment of America living in the congested mid-Atlantic strip, Amtrak is largely on Amerca’s “do not ride” list. Amtrak is an epic money pit.
In vast swathes of the US, terrorists would be the only person on an Amtrak train.
Heh, indeed. […]
It took me two seconds and one click to find Amtrak On Pace to Set All-Time Ridership Record:
Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman testified before the House Appropriations Committee last week that with ridership growing more than 36% since 2000, the national passenger railroad company is on pace to break its annual ridership record of 28.7 million passengers, which was set last year. Ridership has not only increased on all three of Amtrak’s major business lines, including the Northeast Corridor, it has grown on most Amtrak train routes across the country, with strong gains in the Southeast, Midwest, and California.
In March, Amtrak had the most riders of any month in their 40 year history. Perhaps they’re a money pit, but their trains are being used across the country. It’s just common sense that higher gas prices and airplane fares will cause people to look for alternatives.
I’m beginning to think that Daniel Larison is the only conservative who doesn’t reflexively “heh, indeed” something just because he wishes it were true.
Update: It’s worth noting that Mataconis updated the post to prove that Amtrak is a boondoggle, but won’t address the fact that people ride it, boondoggle or not:
Apparently neither you nor the humorless poster at Balloon Juice understands the concept of a joke. Nonetheless, you will note the update I posted about just how much of a money losing boondoggle Amtrak actually is.
If Amtrak is a money pit, that’s an excellent argument for cutting off subsidies. But, of course, neither that nor ridership was even the point of the post. So, whatever
In other words, when the facts contradict the shibboleth, print the shibboleth. Nobody rides Amtrak, Amen.