Philly editorial calls Amtrak privatization plan 'risky'

Last week, Mica (R-Fla.) and Rep. John Shuster (R-Pa.) unveiled a plan to remove Amtrak from control of the federally designated northeast rail corridor and transfer it to the Department of Transportation. A newly created Northeast Corridor Executive Committee would oversee bidding process for rail projects in the northeast.
The Republican lawmakers said private companies would provide faster service for passengers traveling to locations between Washington and Boston than the Acela line operated by Amtrak.

Democrats on Mica's Transportation and Infrastructure Committee strongly disagreed, and Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) has vowed to fight the plan in the Senate.

The newspaper praised Lautenberg's stance in the editorial.

"Fortunately, while Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg sits in a Democratic-controlled Senate, any talk of privatizing rail service in the region won't go unchallenged," the paper said.

"As Lautenberg told the House committee, 'The fact is, Amtrak makes our region work — and we must invest in this critical asset,' " the paper continued. "That's the direction Congress mapped out three years ago with the Amtrak reauthorization. It still looks like the quickest and most responsible route to better rail service for this region."