News & Commentary

Senate Passes Increased Funding for Amtrak, Passenger Rail

Appropriations Committee emphasizes importance of National Network to Amtrak-served communities.

The Senate Appropriations Committee passed an $86.6 billion Fiscal Year 2020 transportation funding bill, an increase of $167 million over this year’s levels--$58 million of which went to increased funding for Amtrak.

What I Learned On My Summer Adventure

From intern to organizer: a commitment beyond Summer by Rail

by Madi Butler As many of you know from following along with Summer by Rail, I have concluded my 24 destination, 50 day, 6,000 mile adventure. Not only was my time spent utilizing national and regional networks, I also experienced many multimodal and last mile solutions. While there are definitely nuances to which public transit solutions work best in which areas, there are some common themes I have noticed in my travels and I hope to spend my time as a Grassroots Organizer with RPA rectifying

An Ideal State For Amtrak

Reauthorization Means It's Time To Wrestle With What 'Ideal' Means For A Publicly Funded Enterprise

Next week Congress is likely going to start talking in earnest about the future of passenger rail as part of the process of reauthorizing the next five-year surface-transportation bill. It’s even more timely now that Amtrak CEO Richard Anderson shared some musings this past weekend about the “ideal state” of Amtrak.

The Power of Patient Advocacy

The most effective tactics are often difficult to see.

by TJ Girsch, Vice Chair, Rail Passengers Association In the transportation security field, there’s a term of art: “security theater.” The idea is that the things that you see (for example, at an airport security checkpoint) are largely there for show. The measures that are most effective in making travel secure are things the large majority of the traveling public never actually sees. The same can be said for passenger advocacy: the most effective advocacy work is slow and deliberate. It

Giving Amtrak Food For Thought

Rail Passengers Continues To Fight Food-Service Downgrades

We first told you in July about Amtrak's plans to expand Contemporary Dining to all National Network trains east of the Mississippi. Since then, we've been working hard to push Amtrak to do better. Read more about our objections, and our new letter to Amtrak leadership looking for hard answers -- in writing -- to these questions and concerns.

Victory (2:1) in the Valley of the Sun

Four-time public vote champion Phoenix Light Rail wins again!

by Madi Butler It is with pride that we congratulate the efforts of the multitudes of citizens, organizers, volunteers, and elected officials that fought hard to end this reckless and short-sighted proposition. This is testimony to the efficacy of grassroots organizing, coalition-building, and citizen engagement. After I left the event in Phoenix earlier this month, I felt confident in those involved at a local level. I do want to thank members of the Southwest Transit Memes for Desert-Oriented

(Anti-) Transit Bros

Transportation projects in this country are under attack and dark money is to blame.

by Joe Aiello | Northeast Field Coordinator EDIT (8/23/19): Our condolences to the Koch Family on the news of the passing of David Koch this morning. We feel that this story remains important, and given the impending vote in Phoenix, it deserves to have light shed on it. By now, I hope that everyone saw Sean’s call-to-arms a couple weeks ago against Prop 105 happening in Phoenix or saw some of the coverage of our SBR intern Madi Butler’s event in Tempe on the 11th. View this pos

FRA Announces $227 Million for Passenger Rail Projects

Feds Assist 10 Rail Projects Across 10 States

After two years of delay, the FRA unleashed $227 million in State of Good Repair Grants to commuter and intercity passenger rail projects.

West Virginia MARC Train Service Action Alert

Help Preserve Service To Martinsburg

The Maryland Transit Administration will hold a public hearing on September 7, 2019 regarding possible drastic cutbacks in MARC commuter train service into West Virginia! The proposed cutbacks, which could go into effect November 4th, would eliminate two of the three current weekday rounds which serve Martinsburg, Duffield and Harpers Ferry. The trains would continue to operate as far as Brunswick, MD. Current West Virginia ridership averages about 250 passengers per day. Cuts in service into

Ride Share Companies Expand Into Transit

Transit has had a fraught relationship with the ride-sharing since companies like Uber and Lyft burst onto the urban transportation scene. Will rideshare companies growing partnership with transit providers help passengers, or hurt them?

Transit has had a fraught relationship with the ride-sharing since companies like Uber and Lyft burst onto the urban transportation scene. Will rideshare companies growing partnership with transit providers help passengers, or hurt them?