Response submitted to Rutland Herald, April 27, 2007

To the editor of The Rutland Herald, April 27, 2007—

The Vermont Transit general manager who complains about Amtrak’s “unfair advantage” (Letter, April 27) failed to mention that the proposed increase in Amtrak service involves eliminating single-seat rides between Vermont and points beyond New Haven. Passengers going to New York City, for example, would have to change trains in New Haven.

The second train schedule may balance out introduction of a forced transfer, but bus officials themselves have noted that forced transfers inhibit ridership to some degree.

Improved Amtrak service will increase demand for public transportation in general. For example, Concord Trailways’ fortunes improved—contrary to their expectations—after Amtrak’s DownEaster began operating.

Vermont Transit could improve its service and revenues by stopping at Amtrak stations and connecting with Amtrak trains. As Boston-Portland shows, more people would ride the bus if they could take the train in one direction or use the bus to connect to or from the train, and if train tickets were accepted on the bus.

Ross B. Capon, Executive Director
National Association of Railroad Passengers