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bmjhagen9426

Government shutdown impacts

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As of this afternoon, the partial government shutdown beat the former record of 21 days set back in 1995, as the congress disbanded for the weekend, and entered into uncharted territory where social breakdowns are anticipated. The end is yet to be seen and there is a real possibility that this could drag on for months or years (They are saying it can last at least for another month at best, or until October or beyond at worst), as both the admin and congress are dug in and not willing to budge. Since Amtrak gets part of its funding from the government (I think from US DOT, correct me if I'm wrong), despite having a high farebox recovery in recent years, what are some possible implications on Amtrak (NEC, non-NEC State Supported, Long Distance) for a prolonged shutdown that lasted several weeks or months? Or years, as some of the doom-and-gloomers say?

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1 hour ago, bmjhagen9426 said:

Since Amtrak gets part of its funding from the government (I think from US DOT, correct me if I'm wrong), despite having a high farebox recovery in recent years, what are some possible implications on Amtrak (NEC, non-NEC State Supported, Long Distance) for a prolonged shutdown that lasted several weeks or months? Or years, as some of the doom-and-gloomers say?

Well, one thing is the fare box recovery on the NEC and some of the connecting route will likely drop since Washington DC accounts for a lot of business travel.  it also accounts for a fair amount or tourist/pleasure travel. That will sure impact things at the end of the fiscal year.

Edited by Thirdrail7

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I think the issue will be with the personnel who work as Air Traffic Controllers and TSA agents.  These individuals are having to work and are not getting paid.  If the shutdown drags on several more weeks, will these people keep working or will they quit or strike (not sure that is legal), or what.

Amtrak seems to be a bit insulated as they do not have to rely on employees who only work for the government (and not getting paid).  Don't know how Amtrak funding will be impacted but ridership may increase (would you want to fly with your safety in the hands of people who are not getting a paycheck...would you work for "free".)  My opinion is that air travel may be the issue that gets everyone to the bargaining table to solve this stupid issue.

Who knows what is going to happen, but once again our politicians are really doing a great job of looking after the interests of the citizens of this country!

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I could definitely seeing NEC ridership on a downward trend during the shutdown as TR7 said a lot of business travel for parts of the government there. As well as leisure travel put on hold due to lack of paychecks. But that effect would show up across the system from government travel.

Eventually I believe Amtrak would run out of money even with fare box recovery being remarkably good the last few years. The services especially the North East Corridor (when factoring in infrastructure) do not cover their cost and eventually will run out of money.

And you can't very much run a railroad without money because one still needs to pay for fuel, track access. So there is a real possibility of the shutdown ran long enough Amtrak would be forced to shut down.

I find it kinda fitting as many small businesses and nonprofits Amtrak shuttered the doors of with their Private Car restrictions and charter ban. So if you ask me it's kinda fitting.

I am not in favor of Amtrak shutting down however. Even though I would enjoy the irony. But unlike my industry and several small businesses selling their equipment and folding completely Amtrak and its leaders would come back after the shutdown.

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16 hours ago, billl said:

I think the issue will be with the personnel who work as Air Traffic Controllers and TSA agents.  These individuals are having to work and are not getting paid.  If the shutdown drags on several more weeks, will these people keep working or will they quit or strike (not sure that is legal), or what.

 

I was riding the L yesterday (which was, maybe, supposed to be pay day) along with a lot of airport and TSA workers getting off their shifts.   One could tell by their conversations that they're very frustrated and unhappy.

 

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I was impressed this week, I flew BWI-JAX We/Fr, and each of the agents I encountered were unusually chipper and pleasant.  It's a real poop sandwich they've been given.

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If the government remains partially closed, I wonder if the next West Palm beach special group will want to make the trip. It seems like an awfully long trip to look at a closed door.

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