News & Commentary

The Business with the Best Customer-Centric View Always Wins

By Carolyn Cokley - Rail Passengers Association As frequent travelers, we all know that perception is as much a part of the customer experience as the actual customer experience itself and while we may have trouble remembering some of the actual details of an interaction, we will not soon forget how those details made us feel. A great actual and perceived customer experience comes down to three factors – success, effort, and emotion, and it is that emotion factor that prompts the most adverse

It's the 21st Century Somewhere

A Postcard from Dijon, France

By Abe Zumwalt, Rail Passengers Association In the United States, easy transportation is a promise of the future, perhaps a decade within our grasp. ‘Traffic will get better when the new highway cloverleaf is completed.’ ‘The Light Rail Line will ease traffic and loosen congestion.’ ‘Driverless cars will speed travel and eliminate traffic.’ A sort of ‘End of History’ solving the problem of personal mobility has been a decade away for more than 50 years, something that we have be

Amtrak Announces Nationwide Roomette Sale

By Bruce Becker, Rail Passengers Association In a rare move, Amtrak today announced a nationwide sale on Sleeping Car roomettes, clearly aimed at boasting premium service ridership during the slower travel months in early 2019. Under the sale, one person in a group of two will travel for free when a roomette is purchased at the regular, one person adult full or senior fare rate. The sale is being offered only via Amtrak.com from December 4th through December 11th, and is valid for travel from

Top Talent Demands Transit, and Employers Are Responding

by Sean Jeans-Gail, Rail Passengers Association One of the most difficult tasks for any transit advocate is to accurately capture the benefits of a transit project. Transit systems aren’t built as profit making ventures, so ridership and revenue aren't enough. They’re built to support the basic economic and civic activities every community requires in order to thrive. Highway advocates, meanwhile, tend to rely on a closed system. Highway construction begets destinations accessible only b

Branson Bets On Brightline

My current and previous worlds merged this afternoon...and I couldn't be more excited about it. As many of you probably know, I came to lead the Rail Passengers Association team after nearly three decades in aviation, mostly at Aviation Week. During my time at AvWeek, once or twice I met Sir Richard Branson -- the adventurer, serial entrepreneur and genius behind everything from Virgin records to Virgin Airlines and yes, Virgin Galactic (my personal favorite) -- and covered him for a couple of

Driving Governor Dukakis - A Push for Needed 'Regional Rail'

A Trip From Mattapan to Boston to Lowell in a 1949 Hudson to Highlight the Need for Unified Massachusetts Rail

Former Democratic Gov. Michael Dukakis, who along with former Republican Gov. William Weld heads the North South Rail Link Working Group, will drive from Mattapan through Boston to Lowell on Friday in a 1949 Hudson, a vehicle that is as outdated as parts of the public transit system in Greater Boston. At 11 a.m. Friday, Nov.16, 2018, Gov. Dukakis will arrive in the rusty 1949 Hudson at the MBTA station in Mattapan, MA (where the trolleys running everyday are as old as the Hudson). At 1 p.m., Du

RPA LAUNCHES NEW PHOTO CONTEST: #ViewsOnATrain

This time last year, we announced our rebranding, a move that formally took us from being The National Association of Railroad Passengers to The Rail Passengers Association. Our former name was a mouthful and didn’t succinctly get to the point of who we are, and what we’re about. Our old logo always had a train in it, even though we’re not a railway. Our new logo is the very window you look out of as a passenger. We started our #ViewsFromATrain photo contest because we wanted you, the ra

RPA Photo Contest Winners

We started our #ViewsFromATrain photo contest in September 2017 because we wanted you, the rail passenger, to be a part of our new identity. We’ve been astounded by the quality of the photo submissions that we’ve received. From the ocean views of the Pacific Surfliner, to the mountain snow on the Coast Starlight, to the Chicago skyline on the California Zephyr, you all have wowed us with the views you’ve seen from the train. Now its time for them to wow you, too. Here are the Grand Prize

Midterm Election Transportation Takeaways

In the biggest win for transit infrastructure of the night...

The media’s focus has quickly shifted from the election results, to President Trump’s press conference, to the firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. We’d like to back up and take a moment to highlight a few transportation takeaways from the 2018 Midterms this week. Transportation Ballots In the biggest win for transit infrastructure of the night, CALIFORNIA voters rejected an attempt to rescind a 2017 state gasoline tax. Through their overwhelming rejection of the repeal i

Election Day is Coming—Vote for Transit!

The media is fixated on what Tuesday, November 6 means for control of Congress, but election day is also one of the few chances citizens have to directly demand more investment in the transit and rail systems we all rely upon. While there aren’t many rail-specific ballots on this year’s slate of midterm ballot initiatives, there are still some crucial measures facing passengers next week. We’ve done a survey of what’s out there and issued some recommendations for voters looking to suppo