Everyone who has been to Europe knows that trains are an essential part of Europe’s transportation system. Europe is hailed as the holy grail of transportation for its widespread use of trains instead of cars, while the United States is criticized for its reliance on cars and trucks. However, Europeans have achieved this by spending much more on subsidies than Americans, leading to many unintended consequences.
Germany spends more than six times U.S. levels on its sponsored railway company, Deutsche Bahn. The German federal government alone will spend $13.3 billion (€11.4 billion) in rail subsidies in 2018, compared to the $2 billion the U.S. federal government will give Amtrak. While the U.S. spends approximately $6 per person per year, Germany spends more than $160 since its population is much smaller.
Read the full op-ed in Economics 21 here.