Your daily source of fresh takes on news affecting America's passengers. See also the weekly NARP Hotline.

OneRail Coalition Applauds Confirmation of Anthony Foxx as Secretary of Transportation

Written By Sean Jeans Gail The following statement was issued today by the OneRail coalition, of which NARP is a member: The OneRail Coalition congratulates Anthony Foxx on his confirmation by the United States Senate as the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation. In his time as Mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina, Secretary Foxx proved to be an effective public servant and a dynamic leader. Through his advancement of the Charlotte Regional Intermodal Facility, the Southeast High

Brazilians demand more train service

Written By Colin Leach Image: Wikicommons; Author: Portal de copaResponding to public demonstrations against rising fares, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff announced $25 billion of new funding for public transportation over the next few years. In a meeting with state governments and major city mayors, Rousseff stated that Brazil’s burgeoning economy needs a change in the “framework of [th]the transportation system”, including the construction of new subways and light rail systems. While

Action Needed: Call for Better 2014 Amtrak Funding!

Written By Malcolm Kenton On Friday, the House Appropriations Committee released fiscal 2014 spending levelsfor transportation that savage Amtrak, state corridor development, and high speed rail. Amtrak would get just $950 million, down 31% from this year. The High Speed & Intercity Passenger Rail Program—which has funded projects ranging from improvements to Maine’s Downeaster to development of a new 220 mph statewide high speed system in California—received was zeroed out. Meanwhile

Passenger rail expands globally

Written By Colin Leach Despite record decreases in government spending across the globe as well as the persistence of anemic economic growth, many countries are making heavy investments in improving existing passenger rail services, as well as constructing new ones. Whether these investments take the form of constructing new lines or introducing new technologies to improve existing services, both public and private stakeholders recognize that passenger rail can be the key to economic growth.

Tell your mayor to Stand Up for Trains!

Written By Sean Jeans Gail The House Appropriations Committee’s attack on Amtrak, which we reported to you yesterday, is just the tip of the iceberg. The House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee leadership has criticized the long-distance trains, and appears poised to write an authorization bill that will threaten those trains, possibly by requiring states to pay for them—something NARP and others consistently have attacked as unworkable. Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) has, refer

Are US crashworthiness standards “dooming” passenger rail?

Written By Colin Leach One frequent criticism of passenger rail’s viability is that it entails high fixed costs and thus discourages potential investors. While many of these costs, such as track maintenance and equipment maintenance, are relatively constant, at least one can, according to a recent study, be significantly lowered: that of equipment purchases. In a new paper released by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, David Edmonson argues that outdated Federal Railroad Administration (F

For California, “No Build” is Not an Option

Written By Sean Jeans Gail CNN is at it again. The latest entry in their series of anti-rail attack ads focuses on California’s statewide high speed rail project, which will connect the state’s biggest cities through 220 mph service. In it, they found an unlikely ally in Quentin Kopp, one of the key architects of California’s high-speed rail project. Kopp is angry that the California High Speed Rail Authority has backed off from the construction of a planned four-track rail corridor int

Salt Lake City Transit ignores partisanship to put transit to work for them

Written By Logan McLeod Wikicommons; Author: Cool Hand LukeRecent statements by House GOP leadership underscore how transportation, once a bipartisan issue in the U.S. Congress, has become politicized at the national level. But as Angie Schmitt’s story on DC Streetsblog proves, that partisan divide vanishes at the local level, where local leaders more interested in bolstering mobility and facilitating economic growth than political posturing. In her story, Salt Lake City: How a Remote Red-St

Help preserve the National Network!

Tell Congress a National Network is "non-negotiable"! Amtrak’s long-distance trains are under the microscope again! On June 6, House Transportation & Infrastructure Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) reportedly said Amtrak’s nationwide service mandate is “something we have to take a hard look at… There are places that it costs us a lot of money and the ridership is not there.” Some 173 million Americans—more than half of our total population—live within 25 miles of an Amtrak stat

Is investing in the future really a "risk"?

Written By Colin Leach A recent article in Bloomberg contended that Amtrak may be wasting hundreds of millions of dollars on “equipment it doesn’t need”and runs the risk of requiring further federal subsidies. These concerns, voiced in Amtrak’s Inspector General’s May 28th report on fleet planning practices, stem from the railroad’s purported lack of a “disciplined process to analyze its equipment needs in a manner consistent with sound businesses practice.” Lack of such a pr