News & Commentary


Taking in some much needed transit-oriented development in Lowell, MA

by Joe Aiello | Northeast Field Coordinator “Papier-mache canals flowed in downtown Lowell, men smoking cigars stand by the rail spitting in the waters that reflect the drizzle hopelessness of 1926.” ― Jack Kerouac, Visions of Gerard Come on, Jack. It’s not THAT bad. I will fully admit that in the 10 years that I have lived in Cambridge, I have had little reason to spend time in Lowell. That is not a shot at the city - it’s just that there hasn’t been much of a pressing need for m

No, Amtrak Does Not Have To Make A Profit

It's Time To Focus On Value

by Jim Mathews / Let's retire the pernicious myth that Amtrak is legally required to turn a profit. It's not, and hasn't been since 1978. Instead, let's look at the value Amtrak returns to the communities it serves, which represents a return many times over what we spend to have the train.

House Gives Passenger Rail a Boost in FY2020 Budget

Rail Passengers is providing tools for passengers to support this bill—and improve it. Please join us in taking action!

Rail Passengers is providing tools for passengers to support this bill—and improve it. Please join us in taking action!

We Love New England

Making our voices heard

by Joe Aiello | Northeast Field Coordinator If we had more transportaion options in New England - we could all get to matches easier. That's something we can all agree on. I wanted to write a follow-up to last week’s blog about the Northeast Division meeting that took place earlier this month - since this topic was brought up at yesterday's North-South Rail Link Working Group meeting. While what I am going to be discussing is all a work in progress, this really does show the importance

Your Right To Be On Time

After Years Of Tussle, We Head Again To The Supreme Court...Or Do We?

by Jim Mathews / As all sides again gather to head back to the Supreme Court, the landscape today is a little different than it was the last time we were here.

We Are In This Together

Advocating for a better rail system across state lines.

by Joe Aiello | Northeast Field Coordinator On May 4th (May The Fourth Be With You), I had the pleasure of joining nearly 50 other passenger rail advocates for the Northeast Division membership meeting. The meeting, co-sponsored by the Association and our good friends at TrainRiders/Northeast, was held in at Maria’s Family Restaurant in Haverhill, MA - a stop along the MBTA Haverhill Line as well as “America’s Favorite Train”, the Downeaster. This was the third such meeting that I ha

The Price is Right

Advocating for "fair" fares and equity in public transportation

by Joe Aiello | Northeast Field Coordinator One of the biggest topics that any agency or advocate can tackle in this day and age is that of equity, especially when it comes to the world of public transportation. How do we even the playing field for every passenger, every line, and every neighborhood? This is a subject that we here at the Association has been talking about for some time. Our friends at TransitMatters have broached the topic in their Regional Rail plan with a fare integration po

Fox in the Henhouse

President Trump Nominates Amtrak Board Member Who Repeatedly Voted to End Amtrak

Rail Passengers is already working to bring this voting record to light, and we need your support

No Trains for You: the Dangers of Zero-Sum Thinking

Amtrak, Insufficient Funding and the Dangers of Zero-Sum Thinking

In the world of zero-sum thinking, some riders must lose for the greater good. So what options are there for those left behind? There is no answer, and that cannot be ignored.

Washington Post Launches Misguided Attack On Passenger Rail

Tone-Deaf Op-Ed Dismisses Needs Of Flyover Country's Seniors, Vets As 'Special Pleading'

by Jim Mathews / The Post's tone-deaf May 3 editorial dismisses the needs of Flyover Country as 'Special Pleading' in a misguided and mean-spirited attack on the need for trains beyond the Northeast Corridor.