Blog

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

As Airlines Raise Fees, Their Subsidy Advantage over Trains Grows

Written By Malcolm Kenton Experienced passenger train advocates are already familiar with the ways in which both federal and state governments subsidize air travel. But as the Washington Post revealed on Friday, airlines’ increasing reliance on increasing fees for things like checked baggage, instead of raising ticket fares, to keep up with the rising cost of jet fuel, means that federal taxpayers are being asked to pitch in even more to keep the aviation system running. The bulk of the Fede

Transit and the modern sports stadium

Written By Sean Jeans Gail Image via Wikicommons; Author - FristleWin or lose, fans shifting expectations about the trip home Major League Baseball’s playoffs are in full swing, and fans across the country are feeling the agony and the ecstasy that come with surges, comebacks, elimination games, and living to fight another day. And while baseball’s traditional anthem has supporters singing “I don't care if I never get back,” the truth is, driving home from the game is increasingly the

Amtrak sets yet another ridership record

Written By Sean Jeans Gail Amtrak setting the ninth annual ridership record in ten years is good news. Amtrak setting the ninth ridership record in ten years after months of near constant Amtrak bashing is great news. When NARP talks about there being "really basic factors that are driving the love for trains [that are] going to be difficult for any candidate to ignore," this is what we mean. We’re printing the full press release, because this railroad deserves its day in the spotlight: WA

NARP defends passenger trains on CNN

Written By Sean Jeans Gail In the lead up to tonight's Vice Presidential debate, CNN ran a report on uncertainty over the status of funding for Amtrak service. With the contest featuring Vice President Joe Biden—a man whose name became synonymous with Amtrak following years of commuting between Congress and his home in Delaware—it's not surprising that passenger trains are receiving this sort of attention. However, when interviewed by CNN, NARP President Ross Capon was quick to point out

NARP responds to attack on Midwest trains in Chicago Tribune

Written By Sean Jeans Gail On September 28, the Chicago Tribune published an editorial attacking the Midwest high performance passenger rail program as “a ridiculously expensive dream.” The editorial ("Higher and higher; You thought high-speed rail already was a boondoggle? Listen to this") based much of its attack on a mistaken analysis of the difference between the 110 mph top speed that will result from the work currently being done between Chicago and St. Louis, and the 125 mph standar

Big rig truck collides with Amtrak's San Joaquin

Written By Sean Jeans Gail Image Source: Wikicommons; Author: PMDrive1061A big rig truck collided with Amtrak's San Joaquin train outside ofHanover, California yesterday causing several train cars to derail, and injuring at least 40 people. None of the injuries are reported as serious. Amtrak has released a statement about the collision outside Hanover—which lies roughly 30 miles south of Fresno—which indicates the truck driver was at fault: "At about 12:25 p.m. Pacific Time, a semi tract

A Travel Network Gap is Bridged in DC

Written By Malcolm Kenton Yesterday, the Washington, DC hub for Greyhound and Peter Pan bus lines moved into Washington Union Station (also a hub for Amtrak, MARC and VRE commuter trains, other intercity buses, Metrorail and many local bus routes) from a stand-alone building located four long blocks to its north. This makes Union Station the city's indisputable focal point for all forms of public transportation. Sept. 26 ribbon cutting at the new intercity bus facility at Washington Union Stat

Four steps to improve long distance service in the U.S.

Written By Sean Jeans Gail All this week, the NARP blog has been using our recently released white paper to examine how passengers use long distance trains, and how this unique transportation mode benefits communities both large and small. [Read the first entry] [Read the second entry] However, these long distance routes, facing both political attacks and underinvestment, are in need of a lot of help. There is no quick and easy political solution to these funding problems—specifically, how

How long distance trains compete

Written By Sean Jeans Gail The United States’ immense, continent-sized geography is often cited to make the case against investing in intercity trains. One hears how trains are better suited for smaller countries in Europe, and that America is too big and sprawling to accommodate passenger rail. And while the distance between the coasts means that most people traveling from the East Coast to the West Coast will choose airplanes (though there are more than a few who’ll hop on a train for 3,0

Chicago to Los Angeles: two-thirds of a continent, 528 city-pairs, and one train

Written By Sean Jeans Gail This week, NARP released a white paper looking at the unique benefits of long distance trains. As part of that, the NARP blog will be publishing excerpts from "Long Distance Trains: Multipurpose Mobility Machines" to highlight key findings and recommendations. The first entry uses the route of Amtrak’s Southwest Chief to illustrate the unique benefits of long distance trains, and dispel misconceptions about how passengers use long distance trains: [C]onsider the