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

Members file 280 amendments to the transportation bill—wait until you see what some could mean for your transit system

Newly elected House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) promised restive House Republicans that he’d give them a greater opportunity to affect legislation as it moved through the U.S. House. Members from both sides of the aisle responded to the less restrictive rules by flooding the transportation bill (HR 3763) with over 280 amendments! Their focus ranges from increasing funding for installation of Positive Train Control safety technology, to eliminating the federal role in transportation, to repealing

Back By Popular Demand: NARP’s Dining Car Cooler Bag Campaign

Back by popular demand is NARP's successful “This is Not a Dining Car - Cooler Bag Campaign." Why is this needed? When dining amenities on a long-haul train are gutted, normally high revenue sleeping cars generate less income, dragging both the fiscal and customer service performance of the entire train into a downward spiral. This becomes a problem not just for every person who rides the train, but ultimately for the communities the trains serve. Through this campaign, NARP is asking membe

Congress Extends Deadline for Train Safety Technology; We’ll Find Out Why on Nov. 20

The White House today signed a three-week extension of the highway and transit program into law, marking the 35th short-term extension of surface transportation trust fund over the past six years. The bill also includes a three-year extension of the deadline for implementing Positive Train Control (PTC) technology, a smart-control technology that helps stop train collisions and derailments before they happen. Thousands of NARP members have been waging a campaign to ensure that trains would kee

12 States Win TIGER Grants -- But the Program Still Needs Your Help

The U.S. Department of Transportation's (U.S. DOT) Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) competitive grant program has funded more than $4 billion in projects that have advanced our goal of building "A Connected America," NARP's vision of a 21st-century multimodal transportation system. Congress allocated $500 million in 2015 for TIGER, which targets multimodal projects that aren’t readily addressed through traditional transportation silos. Unfortunately, the recent

House Committee Passes Surface Transportation Bill, Settles for “No Growth”

Full House to Take Up Bill Within Next Two Weeks The House Committee on Transportation approved, by a voice vote, a surface transportation bill extending highway and transit funding at current levels for six years. Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) told reporters he believes a bill could come to floor of the full House “possibly next week or after.” While the bill did receive some bipartisan support, many pro-infrastructure Members of Congress were clearly disappointed by the numbers, which fre

Planes, Trains and Automobiles - But Especially Trains

Several years ago, my family was fortunate enough to find ourselves on vacation in Croatia, debating how to best get around the country. Croatia is, for being so small, an incredibly diverse place, and we had our hearts set on seeing as much of it as the timing of our return tickets home allowed. With this in mind, my mother suggested that we rent a car. What my dad pointed out, and has resonated on every vacation since, was that it then wouldn’t be a vacation for all of us. Either he or my m

Meet NARP Intern Elena Studier

Image courtesy of the Amtrak Collection When I pictured a train ride before I took my first one, the image that came to mind was always a heavily romanticized notion of the past. A gleaming silver exterior displays the somewhat grandiose title of the train to all the people waiting on the platform. There is a dining car with waiters in crisp uniforms and plate ware that breaks when you drop it on the floor. It was basically that scene from the movie "White Christmas," when they’re on the wa

Grassroots Movement to Improve Passenger Trains Loosens Gridlock on Looming Rail Deadline

NARP has been working hard to keep our members updated on the looming rail technology deadline that is threatening rail service across the nation. Now, we’re starting to see movement that indicates NARP members’ efforts are producing results on Capitol Hill, with a bipartisan coalition forming to demand a reasonable deadline extension as part of a comprehensive rail bill. As a result of a law passed in 2008, U.S. railroads face a December 31 deadline to have Positive Train Control (PTC) t

Congress says “keep your expectations low”; NARP says “NO!”

Yesterday, Congress passed a short-term extension to keep the government running through December 11. This will allow legislators to turn their attention to other pressing issues—such as the Positive Train Control deadline facing passengers. NARP has reported extensively on the January 1st PTC deadline, which if not addressed threatens to bring commuter trains, Amtrak, and freight trains to a halt across the nation. NARP has discovered that the House plans to move a standalone PTC extension r

AMTRAK HURT BY A FEDERAL BIAS AGAINST RAILROADS

A coach attendant on the Silver Meteor assisting passengers at Winter Haven, Fla. Photo by Chuck Gomez for Amtrak, from the Amtrak Corporate Collection. By M.E. Singer Recently, transportation articles have blamed partisan gridlock in Washington as the cause for the continuing stagnation of our inter-city passenger rail. On the contrary, federal funding decisions continue to exemplify one of the few areas of bipartisan agreement: an institutional bias against the railroads, and in particula