Reply To: TPO 57 – Integrated Writing
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University: Communication University of China
Both the reading and listening materials focus on the ownership problem of an intercity train company named Amtrak. The core of the debate between the listening and reading materials is whether Amtrak should be run by the U.S. government or a private company.
The article lists three reasons. The first one is that the national government lost money on Amtrak, for it keeps running underused railways in remote and less populated areas. Managing these routes costs hundreds of millions of dollars each year. The speaker disapproves with that reason, and says the government is misunderstood. The government’s main goal to maintain the railway service is not about money. Citizens who lives in remote areas have the same right to receive government services as those citizens who live in accessible areas.
The second reason given by the article is the government’s ownership of Amtrak creates unfair competition in market; since it helps Amtrak provide tickets which are cheaper than any flight tickets. The speaker argues that the airline companies already enjoy lots of benefits from national government, such as helping them to build free control towers, train professional pilots and give them access to the weather satellite’s database.
The last reason mentioned by the article is that rail travel is less popular than car travel in America. Rail travel serves about one percent of American passengers yearly. Instead of pouring money into Amtrak ,the government should use the money to build more highways. The speaker admits nowadays rail travel does have less customers, however, she thinks that this is because Amtrak is out of date. If the government provides affordable and fast train service like Japanese and European governments do, travelers would love to choose rail travel.