Amtrak: The History and Politics of a National Railroad

By David C. Nice | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Distribution: Who Gets Service?

As noted earlier, the distribution of Amtrak service has been a subject of controversy at a number of points in its history. When the system was first established, critics decried the absence of service on some routes; that criticism led to the addition of several trains. Additions and cutbacks in service have been proposed and adopted on several occasions, with mixed results. 1 The early Amtrak system offered direct service between Chicago and Florida and between New York and St. Louis that is not available today (although connections can be made with a change of trains). Conversely, direct service between Chicago and Buffalo was not part of the original system but is available now. Wyoming had passenger rail service under the original Amtrak system, then lost it for several years, regained it, and now lost it again.

The amount of service provided by Amtrak varies greatly from state to state. New York, with approximately 10 percent more rail mileage than Oklahoma, has more than three hundred trains weekly while Oklahoma has no service at all. Wyoming and Mississippi have approximately equal rail mileage, but Mississippi has considerably more Amtrak service than does Wyoming. In view of the variation in service from one part of the country to another, the availability and distribution of services has been a continuing issue.

A number of studies have sought to explain variations in the geographical distribution of public programs and benefits generally. In some instances, the distribution of benefits and services reflects, at least in part, the exercise of political influence on behalf of local concerns. Individual neighborhoods, communities, or regions may mobilize to gain benefits for themselves based on how much political power they have rather than any defensible standard of need or merit. Political considerations may shape the timing of announcements of benefits and the speed with which claims are processed and may also influence service and benefit levels. 2 Public officials sometimes complain that their home states or districts are being


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Amtrak: The History and Politics of a National Railroad


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 119

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?