Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Reason 5

Why I'm voting and walking and calling and writing for Obama/Warner/RhymesWithSeder. Part five of a series:


Or, more specifically, rail infrastructure. Move more people faster for less money. Now, y'all know how much I love Amtrak. What you may not know is how angry I was back in 2001 when Congress was bailing out the airlines and saying that they were going to de-fund Amtrak.

I wrote letters. To my congressman, to both Senators, to the head of the DOT, to the NYT and the Washington Post. I was steamed.

The gist was, did they not remember that Amtrak was the only transportation available to move people over distances when the FAA grounded all the planes? How dare they bail out United -- who let their planes be hijacked! -- and let Amtrak fail? You can't fly trains into skyscrapers, people. A thriving rail system is a matter of national security.

Not to mention that trains (passenger, cargo, commuter) are highly efficient and reduce congestion. Safer, more comfortable, less expensive, and less polluting than cars or planes. Faster than cars (sometimes even faster than planes when you count the time spent in airports going through security, getting delayed on the tarmac, and waiting for your luggage which missed your transfer at Raleigh/Durham).

I want a Veep who believes in the rail system and who has used it to commute to work everyday for the last 30 years.

Health Care, Energy, Tax plan, Social Programs, Amtrak. Five down, more to come.

1 comment:

kathy a. said...

count me as a fan of rails, and public transportation generally. we are very lucky to have a lot of transportation options in my area. i commuted on BART to "the city" for 12 years; regularly use BART and busses and AMTRAK and sometimes even caltrain. when i go to the airport, i ride BART to get there. tres convenient, and no worries about parking or the nutjobs on the freeways.

my aunt is turning 70 in october, and it is an event arranged around AMTRAK. one cousin and i are boarding to the north; we'll pick up a couple families about 45 minutes later; then the last bunch and my aunt a little farther down the rails; and we'll all travel an hour or two to a scenic place, where we will spend the night and celebrate. shhhh! it's a surprise!