- Amtrak is traditionally unfavored by lawmakers and the general public.
- But delays at airports nationwide following the longest-ever government shutdown casts trains in a new light.
- The state-owned business enterprise joked on Twitter on Friday that attendees this year’s Superbowl in Atlanta might just flock there via Amtrak.
Amtrak is chartered as a private corporation – albeit one that gets federal funding.
That means America’s passenger train line, even as it’s typically ignored by lawmakers and the general public, has been functioning as usual amid the government shutdown.
Business as usual, meanwhile, has not been the case at America’s airports.
Hundreds of flights were delayed in New York, Atlanta, and elsewhere on the Eastern seaboard on Friday amid the longest-ever government shutdown. TSA scanners have been calling in sick at work as they go unpaid, leading to huge lines at the airport. And, perhaps most strangely, Kanye West songs have been reportedly blasting at New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK).
On Friday, Amtrak didn’t hesitate on Twitter to point out that none of those issues have plagued trains.
Just gonna leave this here… ???? https://t.co/nO2twS1JSH
— Amtrak (@Amtrak) January 25, 2019
The Super Bowl will be held in Atlanta on Feb. 3. But Atlanta is also the site of the world’s busiest airport. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has been hammered by delays and staffing shortages following the government shutdown.
Some folks agreed that Amtrak ought to position itself as the new transportation hub for the Super Bowl.
you may want to start thinking about adding cars.
— Kelly Shand (@bookgirl33) January 25, 2019
Others, less fond of the passenger railway, pointed out that delays might force them to miss the train.
They better plan some "cushion" time because this is the first @Amtrak tweet all week that's NOT about late trains!
— Mark Newman (@MarkNYC64) January 25, 2019
But Amtrak is still a corporation whose employees have been paid throughout the shutdown. Unless its federal funds that Amtrak receives via the Department of Transportation are stymied in a more permanent sense, Amtrak shouldn’t see major impacts.
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