Government shutdown impacts

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by bmjhagen9426, Jan 11, 2019.

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  1. Jan 11, 2019 #1

    bmjhagen9426

    bmjhagen9426

    bmjhagen9426

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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?
     
  2. Jan 12, 2019 #2

    VTTrain

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  3. Jan 12, 2019 #3

    Thirdrail7

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    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.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 12, 2019
  4. Jan 12, 2019 #4

    billl

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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!
     
  5. Jan 12, 2019 #5

    Seaboard92

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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.
     
  6. Jan 12, 2019 #6
  7. Jan 12, 2019 #7

    NorthShore

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    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.
     
  8. Jan 13, 2019 #8

    Ryan

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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 **** sandwich they've been given.
     
  9. Jan 13, 2019 #9

    Thirdrail7

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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.
     
  10. Jan 25, 2019 #10

    Chas

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    Reading about airport problems due to unpaid air-traffic controllers and TSA agents not coming to work, I wondered if Amtrak is picking up any more traffic. But none of the news stories that I have read mention an uptick in Amtrak traffic. Has anyone seen any informed speculation one way or the other?
     
  11. Jan 26, 2019 #11

    jis

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    Thankfully it is temporarily over.
     
  12. Jan 26, 2019 #12

    Siegmund

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    If there are any improvements for which FRA permission is needed, those have presumably been put on hold. Don't know if, for instance, any deadlines for positive train control have gone past during the shutdown.

    In the aviation world, those are the type of things which have been delayed --- new airline service to Everett, WA, for instance, has been postponed by two months, because the federal inspectors who could approve the necessary security plans etc were furloughed. Sadly we don't seem to have any examples of Amtrak trying to add an exciting new route this month that got delayed.
     
  13. Jan 28, 2019 #13

    Devil's Advocate

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    CBO's initial estimates put the interim economic loss at around 11 billion and the unrecoverable loss at 3 billion dollars.  I wish we could have spent that money on something a bit more meaningful and productive.

    Link: https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/28/economy/cbo-shutdown-cost/index.html

    Link: https://www.newsweek.com/government-shutdown-cost-economy-billion-cbo-1307860

    Although this is probably just a pipe dream at least one senator has apparently introduced a bill to keep funding alive during future budget stalemates.

    Link: https://www.newsweek.com/mark-warner-stop-stupidity-act-end-government-shutdowns-1300908
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 28, 2019

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