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View Full Version : Speaking of wasteful spending...


corsair23
05-19-2009, 10:21 AM
I read the posts about SB 09-108 and the subsequent back and forth about wasteful spending...

Well, what do you think of this? Does this fit the bill of wasteful spending or would you consider this a smart political maneuver by Murtha? I think it is an incredible waste of tax payer money :rant:

And apparently the guv'mint subsidizes the airline fares to boot.

http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=7415354

Note: the town where this airport is located is about 85 miles from Pittsburgh PA and about 100 miles from Pittsburgh International airport. So this would be like putting an airport with airline service in Limon CO or north of Ft Collins CO.

Groucho
05-19-2009, 11:02 AM
But it is nowhere near what other transportation industries are receiving, and it is a dollar short and a day late.

Stimulus Money For Amtrak (http://americancity.org/daily/entry/1482/)

Don't flame Amtrak for taking a handout, either. They have been operating by the skin of their teeth for a long time. American Rail Travel has received funding off and on since it came into being 150 years ago. Early passenger trains carried mail and sometimes thats all, receiving funding for the mail trains. Passenger trains almost never made money. One exception (we are fortunate to live where it is) was the Denver & Rio Grande Western's San Juan extenstion, and more specifically the Silverton Branch. For those who don't know, that is now the Durango and Silverton narrow Gauge Railroad.

In the 50's, when most of the railroads around the country were looking to abandon passenger service even with meaty mail contracts, the Silverton branch was slowly gaining momentum as a money maker on passenger traffic. The D&RGW, based in Denver, even filed to the Interstate Commerce Commission to abandon it and was denied due to its ridership. Eventually the D&RGW realized what they had and put a little capital into the branch. But that was short lived. In the 60's, cars, airlines and buses were where people were turning for travel, and the railroad could not justify a coal-fired, steam operated railroad that had since been cut off from the rest of their system. In March-April of 1981, 99 years after the first trains arrived at Silverton, the D&RGW sold the branch.

A little bit of interesting history. The D&RGW originally ran from Denver, down thru Pueblo, over La Veta pass to Alamosa, thru Antonito and Chama NM, on to Durango and ended in Silverton. All dispatching for all rail traffic on the D&RGW system (which also reached to Grand Junction on into Utah) was done from Denver. The Silverton Branch was cut off from the rest of the system in 1969. However, dispatching was still done from Denver until 1981. That means that telegrapheded dispatches were used and transferred onto rice paper train order sheets. These order sheets were used by railroaders using 100+ year old equipment and technology up until 1981. Try and do that nowadays. The government would shut them down for not using the correct type of paper or something.

But it was due to the mail contracts that some of the rail lines that are around today as tourist attractions survived. So we can (BLEACHH!):banghead: thank those mail contracts for the things we enjoy today.

Tch2fly
05-19-2009, 06:46 PM
I read the posts about SB 09-108 and the subsequent back and forth about wasteful spending...

Well, what do you think of this? Does this fit the bill of wasteful spending or would you consider this a smart political maneuver by Murtha? I think it is an incredible waste of tax payer money :rant:

And apparently the guv'mint subsidizes the airline fares to boot.

http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=7415354

Note: the town where this airport is located is about 85 miles from Pittsburgh PA and about 100 miles from Pittsburgh International airport. So this would be like putting an airport with airline service in Limon CO or north of Ft Collins CO.
Yeah I've seen that ...IMO Senator Murtha is exactly what is wrong with Government. Didn't even have the huevos to go on camera and try to justify the spending.


As far as the subsidies, yes it is done but I don't believe it works the way the report explained it.
The program is called the Essential Air Service program. It was created in the late 70's when they deregulated the airlines. The fear was smaller communities would lose airline service because it was unprofitable. In Colorado I believe Alamosa, Cortez and Pueblo(:eek:) are part of the program. It is probably the only reason you can fly into Moab from DIA.

Is there is waste in the program, likely ... do we need to do something to make sure small communities have air service, maybe/maybe not ... but look at what happened to small towns that got bypassed by the interstate system.:(