Blog

Your daily source of fresh takes on news affecting America's passengers. See also the weekly NARP Hotline.

The journey begins with lessons on making change

Written By Malcolm Kenton The inaugural Millennial Trains Project journey has officially begun with a day of learning, dialogue and exploration in San Francisco, a city which—like most American cities—owes much of its prosperity and stature to the railroads. The San Francisco Bay was the terminus for the first transcontinental railroad and has always been the United States' primary gateway to trans-Pacific commerce and migration. Though California became a state before the railroad was comp

GAO's Report On Air-Rail Connectivity Ignores Connectivity

Written By Colin Leach, Abe Zumwalt Transportation advocates have long spoken of the benefits of multimodal connectivity that allows passengers to easily transfer through different modes. Whether linking local and regional bus services with commuter rail, or intercity rail with light rail and subway transit, transportation planners look for ways to increase the number of seamless connections. This is why many transportation officials favor connecting rail services to airports. By doing so, t

Embarking on a Journey with a Cause

Written By Malcolm Kenton Tomorrow morning, I head to San Francisco to begin what promises to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience: a transcontinental train journey in private railcars with 19 other enterprising members of the Millennial generation (those born between 1977 and 2000, so named due to our coming of age at the time of the turn of the third millennium). Each of us is pursuing a different project, aiming to apply a trans-regional perspective and the kind of creative thinking that a con

Rail transit proves key to greater income mobility

Written By Colin Leach Lighter colors represent areas where children from low-income families are more likely to move up in the income distribution.While transit advocates know well the economic cost of congressional refusal to invest in public transit, it is often more difficult to quantify this refusal’s personal effect. For Stacey Calvin, it’s very easy: four hours. That’s the amount of time the Atlanta resident must spend taking a bus to catch a train, which in turn connects her to an

Rail passengers help beat back anti-train amendments!

Written By Sean Jeans Gail First things first. I want to say “thank you” to each and every single NARP Member and passenger rail supporter who has taken time to reach out to their Representative or Senator to defend trains. And thank you for putting up with the deluge of emails that we’ve sent in an attempt to give you the most up-to-date information! It is because of your efforts that the House overwhelmingly defeated Representative Paul Broun’s (R-GA) amendments to zero out Amtrak

America's passengers are being heard in Washington!

Written By Sean Jeans Gail We've heard back from Senate offices, and America's train passengers are speaking out against the Flake (R-AZ) amendment to eliminate food and beverage service! Now, we need to make sure we have the same sort of impact on the other side of the Hill, where some members of the House are proposing amendments so extreme they would literally eliminate every single dollar of federal support for Amtrak: • Rep Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) has offered an amendment to zero out

Senate amendment would eliminate Amtrak food and beverage

Written By Sean Jeans Gail Graphic courtesy of Transportation For AmericaThe Senate is debating a transportation funding bill that would include $1.45 billion for Amtrak and $100 million for high performance rail. The bill also has $550 million for TIGER grants, a program that has effectively funded passenger and freight rail improvements, and $1.94 billion for New Starts, which has been critical in the development of regional rail transit. With the House pushing an alternative proposal that wi

Building for the Future: The Impact of the HSIPR Program

Written By Colin Leach The U.S. Senate is currently considering a transportation funding bill that would provide $1.45 billion for Amtrak and $100 million for the higher speed rail. The Senate proposal stands in stark contrast to the House version, which slashes Amtrak’s budget to $1.05 billion and zeroes out the higher speed rail program. As Congress debates the merit of investment in higher speed rail, it’s worth taking a look at the program’s history and successes. Created as part of

NARP Life Member Talks Trains with Iowa Cyclists

Written By Malcolm Kenton NARP Life Member and former Board member Lance Erickson has been a member since the year NARP was founded, 1967, and has generously supported the Association and spread the word about our cause in various venues since then. On Tuesday, cyclists participating in the RAGBRAI, the Des Moines Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, rode through Perry, Iowa, a small town 30 miles northwest of Des Moines. The paved Raccoon River Valley Trail, which follows an aba

NARP and Amtrak Interns Learn From Each Other

Written By Logan McLeod Colin Leach, Lessie Henderson and myself, NARP’s team of 2013 summer interns, presented on behalf of NARP to Amtrak’s Government Affairs and Corporate Communications staff at a luncheon yesterday. We also had a chance to share experiences with Amtrak’s two summer Government Affairs interns. The NARP interns combined our talents along with our knowledge and understanding of the Association’s mission to create a clear and concise message that said what NARP is, wh