Blog

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

National Passenger Day of Action THIS FRIDAY on Transportation Bill

Congressional leadership and staff are meeting in Washington, D.C. this week and next to reconcile the differences between Senate and House transportation bills. To ensure that this multi-year transportation bill gives states and Amtrak the tools they need to build a 21st Century rail transportation system, a broad coalition of passenger groups are organizing for a National Day of Action on Friday, November 13. We’ll need your help to stand up for rail! Passenger groups have rallied around th

VSP: Another Great Benefit For NARP Members

NARP is now offering members a new benefit: VSP Individual Vision Care. The company currently provides affordable access to high-quality eyecare and eyewear to 70 million members. An individual or family vision insurance plan from VSP typically can save hundreds of dollars on your exams and glasses. But when you sign up for a VSP plan, you not only help yourself and your family, you help NARP. For every member who subscribes to a vision plan, VSP will make a contribution to NARP, helping you

House Transportation Bill Approved. Find Out How Train and Transit Amendments Fared!

U.S. House passes STRR by a vote of 363 - 64. Train passengers successfully defeated several anti-transit amendments, and restored a key program used to fund new transit rail lines. With a surprise $40 billion in play, passenger advocacy in pushing for the DRIVE Act in the Senate-House conference negotiations process is even more important. The House highway and transit bill was approved today by a vote of 363 to 64, setting up a momentous round of

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