In the days following the September 11th attacks, Congress stepped in to provide billions of dollars in emergency relief to the devastated airline industry. That was the right thing to do, says Amtrak's Acting Chairman and former Presidential Candidate Michael Dukakis. But, he says, the rail industry needs only one-tenth of that amount for it to continue to play its vital role in America's transportation system. With the airlines grounded for several days and many people afraid to fly, the railroad was critical in the weeks after the attacks. Amtrak's Northeast Corridor provided a lifeline to New York City. Dukakis says the Amtrak just needs a little assistance to become a profitable entity. Critics argue that Amtrak is a wasteful and mismanaged monopoly, and that rail travel — even high-speed rails — will never replace flying for the fast-paced American society. This hour, we ride the rails and ask should Amtrak be given more money as it tried to achieve profitability.
Michael Dukakis, former Governor of Massachusetts and Acting Chairman of Amtrak's Board of Directors;
Nancy Rutledge Connery, Board member of the Amtrak Reform Council, a group established by the government to make Amtrak self-sufficient by 2002
This program aired on December 20, 2001.