Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Dear President-Elect Obama: Remember Amtrak

The railroad bridge in Fredericksburg, Virginia with an early morning Amtrak Train crossing, on Flickr by Andrew.dici

This post is my entry for the Green Mom's Carnival for December. Check it out at Diane MacEachearn's Big Green Purse.

Dear President-Elect Obama (oh, how I LOVE the sound of THAT!),

You are undoubtedly receiving many pleas for change. And I imagine that you are a tad busy. So I'll keep my request short:

Please remember Amtrak.
Please increase Amtrak's budget, for regular and high-speed rail service, for maintenance, for new trains. Remember that our country is vast, and that ecologically-sound, dependable, economical transportation is needed beyond the Northeast Corridor. Remember the little towns all across the Midwest which essentially shut down when the trains stopped stopping, and it became necessary to have a car to get from place to place. America needs our train service back.
The first test of Amtrak's spending plans will come in February, when you submit your transportation budget with how much you want to give the carrier. Please do not follow the pathetic example of your predecessor George W. Bush, who in his final budget sought to cut Amtrak's subsidy by more than a third, or $500 million. Please be the change that we all seek. We are counting on you.

Alline Anderson
Train rider

Amtrak Interior by Wigwam Jones on Flickr
**Additional info from Bloomberg.com and Trainorders.com

**Providing passengers with safe high-speed rail will have significant environmental and metropolitan planning advantages and help diversify our nation’s transportation infrastructure. Our domestic rail freight capacity must also be strengthened because our demand for rail transportation has never been greater, leaving many key transportation hubs stretched to capacity.

**The government-owned carrier set its sixth straight year of record ridership, with 28.7 million passengers for the 12 months ended Sept. 30. The 11 percent increase came as train travel was spurred by highway congestion, $4-a-gallon gasoline and air- traffic delays in the Northeast, Amtrak's busiest corridor.

Amtrak Observation Car at San Luis Obispo by porsys on Flickr


Anna said...

This is a wonderful post. I imagine that most people are asking him for straightening out the economy, green energy jobs, etc. This is one sound request which is needed to strength are country especially from an enviromental standpoint.

Anonymous said...

What a great, specific idea! I love trains, and now we need them more than ever.

Diane MacEachern said...

Terrific idea! We need to get people to stop thinking about fuel for their cars and focus instead on meeting their transportation needs. Supporting Amtrak would be a huge step in the right direction.

Mother Earth aka Karen Hanrahan said...

I think you example so many awesome practices. one ...being the use of the train. NEVER did it occur to me that some can't get train service. How silly and naive am I? One of my ideas of where to live next includes along the train lime. If I found a place where the trains no longer came that wouldn't work would it ?

Nicely done!!