Yeah, Amtrak is a money-sponge. But, passenger train service everywhere is government subsidized. In Europe , all the trains run on government money. The difference is, there people use the trains to get from city to city—in the U-S, not many people do. So, our government not only spends money on that form of public transportation, it loses a lot money.
Now, no one can accuse me of being anti-train. I am a bona fide railfan, and used to have a rather elaborate HO scale model train layout. Having said that, and despite the recollections of the days when Wilmington was the Holy City of the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, I must realistically assert that inter-city passenger train service will never return to Wilmington. Oh, sure, the State has mumbled some stuff about expanding the State-subsidized passenger trains that run, roughly, from Raleigh to Charlotte , through the Piedmont Crescent , to other cities. But don’t hold your breath. In North Carolina , nearly everything goes through the Piedmont Crescent , with other areas getting leftovers. Look how long it took to get I-40 extended to Wilmington .
So, an Inter-modal Transportation Center downtown, for now, is a pipe dream. The airport certainly has no use for it; taxicabs do just fine with their own dispatchers; and city buses are little used, sometimes running as empty as last year’s bird nest. Let’s concentrate on something attainable—adequate, even ample, parking. And the day, hopefully not too distant, when we will no longer need those despised no-arm bandits—parking meters.