California Amtrak ridership drops - But insane spending for a new Bullet Train goes on and on
Just weeks after People's Republic Governor Jerry Brown's office quashed a $10 million public relations contract to promote the new Bay Bridge span, Caltrans is preparing to spend $9 million for a PR firm to sell people on riding trains.
"Advertising for Amtrak increases the number of riders and raises revenue for the state," said Caltrans spokesman Matt Rocco.
Caltrans has tentatively picked an outfit called Tmdgroup for a three-year campaign intended to boost ridership on three Amtrak routes in the state, including the Capitol Corridor line from San Jose to Auburn in Placer County. reports the San Francisco Chronicle.
The firm will also develop a track-crossing safety program.
Rocco said state taxpayers are already subsidizing Amtrak service in California to the tune of $90 million a year. Amtrak carries almost 5.6 million passengers in the state annually, but ridership on some lines has dipped - hence the need to sell the system.
By the way, Tmdgroup boasts on its Web page that it handles only government contracts and specializes in "motivating positive behavioral change."
California already has a rail system in place.
But leaving the current system in place means
there is no new tax money to steal when building
a new high speed rail.