NARP Reaffirms Long-Distance Trains as Federal Responsibility

NARP issued a release, “Railroad Passengers Applaud, Criticize Brookings Report” on March 1 shortly after the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program issued its report, A New Alignment: Strengthening America's Commitment to Passenger Rail.  We highlighted the Brookings findings that Amtrak ridership grew faster than the population, travel on other modes, and the economy from 1997 to 2011.  We attacked as completely unworkable the suggestion that Amtrak’s long-distance trains be funded by the states: “It is unrealistic to expect trains that cross so many state lines to gain the support of all the involved states, or to expect all states on a route to agree on schedules, service amenities, and cost allocations among the states.”

Our position on funding long-distance trains is consistent with longstanding federal policy, which was reaffirmed in the 2008 Amtrak reauthorization law.  That law also states, at Section 228,  “Amtrak’s long-distance trains provide an essential transportation service for many communities and to a significant percentage of the general public. … As a result of airline deregulation and decisions by national bus carriers to leave many communities, rail transportation may provide the only feasible common carrier transportation option for a growing number of areas.”

Rail Industry set to hire 5000 returning US veterans

Rail Industry and White House Task Force to take care of returning veterans
By: Riley Whitelock Volunteer Intern

    The White House 'Joining Forces' initiative backed and promoted by First Lady Michelle Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden has found new success in a thriving rail industry ripe with retirements and full of opportunity.  The taskforce is one that seeks to find stable and well-paying jobs for our nation’s veterans to enter upon their return from war.  The website proudly declares, “1% of Americans may be fighting our wars, but we need 100% of Americans to be supporting our troops and their families.”  It is in this spirit that the rail industry has stepped up to the plate when, earlier this year, they committed to hire more than 5,000 veterans in 2012. 

Read more: Rail Industry set to hire 5000 returning US veterans

Troy Reverses Decision on New Station

The back-and-forth fight over a new intermodal transit center in Troy MI has turned up interesting information about the federal stimulus grant program (formally known as ARRA, the American Recovery and Relief Act).  It also contains lessons on how to combat Luddites who oppose public transportation.

Read more: Troy Reverses Decision on New Station

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