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

Gulf Coast Residents Send Clear Message to Washington

Written By Malcolm Kenton A sizable crowd came to Tallahassee, Florida's former Amtrak station on Saturday, garnering positive media exposure for NARP's joint effort to bring Amtrak service back to the New Orleans-Florida route that has been "suspended" since 2005. Tallahassee's former Amtrak station. Photo from Wikipedia.There was free food, live music and a party-type atmosphere, but most of the attendees were there for a reason: they want Amtrak service back in their Gulf Coast communities.

The Capitol Corridor's Passenger Rail Boom

Written By Sean Jeans Gail Reporter Susan Sward recently interviewed me for a Sacramento Bee piece profiling the dramatic change seen in the Capitol Corridor over the past thirty years—not only its booming ridership, but the cultural change its success has facilitated. Sward's examines the role (former NARP board member) Eugene Skoropowski played in developing the San Francisco Bay Area to Sacramento rail corridor: When the Capitol Corridor line began operating in 1991, it had six daily tr

Last chance to join in the Rally to “Bring Bak Amtrak”

Written By Sean Jeans Gail [via Visit Tallahassee] Local residents and rail passenger enthusiasts in the surrounding areas will come together to celebrate “Bring Bak Amtrak!” with a rally on June 23 at 11 a.m. The rally’s goal is to restore the Amtrak Sunset Limited Service between New Orleans and Jacksonville through Tallahassee. Events begin at the Historic Tallahassee Amtrak Station with “Rally at Railroad Square,” featuring food, drinks, keynote speakers and live music by JB’s

National Review Online attacks NARP

Written By Ross Capon In Washington, they say if someone’s not complaining about you, you’re probably doing something wrong. So perhaps we over at NARP should be pleased by the attention we’re getting from the National Review Online. Mostly, however, I’m disappointed. The federal government has spent more than $34 billion in general revenue taxpayer dollars (that is, tax dollars from sources other than user-fees, like the gas tax) on highways since 2008 alone. The surface transport

Outside-the-Box Partnerships Can Be Win-Wins for Transit Agencies

Written By Malcolm Kenton Not often do public transit agencies take big, outside-the-box moves to raise revenue, attract new riders, and build public goodwill. Agencies too often act like staid bureaucracies unwilling to go out on a limb and try something new. That's why I was pleased to hear of a deal that the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA)announced yesterday that it had made with Groupon, an innovative national company that offers its members the chance to buy deeply-discounted coupons to r

A Critical Juncture for High-Speed Rail in America

Written By Malcolm Kenton Public debate around the California High-Speed Rail project is heating up as the state legislature prepares to vote on whether or not to continue funding the momentous undertaking, which still represents America's best shot at having a world-class high-speed rail line up and running within the next 10 years. The project's opponents continue to distort reality in arguing that the state can't afford high-speed rail -- when, in fact, it would cost the state even more over

Rally to Restore the Sunset Limited!

Written By Sean Jeans Gail Rally to Restore the Sunset Limited! Local train advocates are holding a rally to help restore the Sunset Limited at 11am on Saturday, June 23rd. The event will be held at the historical Tallahassee Train Station, and will feature speakers, live Music, food and refreshments. The rally will move over to the Railroad Square Art Park for a free concert by JB's Zydezo Zoo. There will be a special evening concert featuring Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers held

Downeaster train will spur $7.2 billion in construction, says FRA head

Written By Sean Jeans Gail Maine has one of the most aggressive rail passenger rail programs in the country, and last week Federal Administrator Joe Szabo gave a compelling address about how that's helping Maine's economy: Tourism is one of Maine’s biggest industries. According to Carolann Oulette, Director of Maine’s Office of Tourism, more visitors come to Maine from Boston than any other location. Last week I visited Maine, where federal and state investments in the Downeaster service

Youth demand for automobiles on the wane

Written By Sean Jeans Gail Image: Wikicommons; Author: HallgrimssonProgressive Railroading's Julie Sneider had an interesting piece this week on the waning interest in automobiles on display among American youth: Americans’ love of driving had been increasing steadily from the end of World War II until early in the 21st century. But in 2011, the average American was driving 6 percent fewer miles than in 2004, according to the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) Education Fund and the