News & Commentary
In the biggest win for transit infrastructure of the night...
November 8, 2018
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
November 1, 2018
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
September 13, 2018
In testimony before Congress today, Amtrak provided its clearest statement yet that train service will continue on Positive Train Control-exempt routes in 2019, contradicting earlier reporting by Trains that the Amtrak Board was requiring PTC on those lines. Amtrak’s statement is good news for passengers that rely on the routes in question, including the Cardinal, California Zephyr, Texas Eagle, Downeaster, Vermonter, Ethan Allen, and City of New Orleans. In testimony before a House Transport
Last chance to stand up for a national rail network!
September 12, 2018
Your Rail Passengers staff has learned from our allies on the Hill that House and Senate negotiators will meet tomorrow to begin finalizing the details of the Fiscal Year 2019 transportation budget. This bill not only fund rail transportation projects and operations across the U.S., but will include policy language that would require Amtrak to preserve that National Network in its entirety--including the Southwest Chief. Take action today! Passenger are being heard! Rail Passenger Associatio
After spending roughly $40 million studying South Station Expansion, MassDOT only committed about $1.5 million to the NSRL study
September 11, 2018
When MassDOT initially agreed in 2017 to complete an updated feasibility study of the proposed North-South Rail Link (NSRL), many rail and transit advocates were skeptical. After spending roughly $40 million studying South Station Expansion (SSX), MassDOT was only committing about $1.5 million to the NSRL study (even though the legislature had authorized $2 million). The cynical view was that rather than an honest study, this would be an attempt to paint the project in a poor light, and perhaps
On August 30, 2018 the Board of Directors of the Rail Passengers Association unanimously adopted an important policy resolution statement
September 4, 2018
After lengthy discussion, deliberation and debate, on August 30, 2018 the Board of Directors of the Rail Passengers Association unanimously adopted the following policy resolution: The Rail Passengers Association Board will conditionally support the board and management of the National Passenger Rail Corporation (Amtrak) in its 2019 budget recommendations and appropriations request to Congress providing that it maintains the current interstate rail transportation network of trains and routes.
August 15, 2018
With August halfway done, it’s important that we continue our work in support of passenger rail and Amtrak’s National Network. Members of the U.S. House are back home for recess, and they need to hear that their constituents support the FY2019 transportation appropriations bill—both for its funding levels and the critical language requiring Amtrak to preserve the Southwest Chief provision. It’s important that you call your Representative and ask them to support the higher FY19 funding l
The Senate passed a funding bill that boosts Amtrak funding and keeps the Southwest Chief running. Please join us in saying “thank you” to the Senators who helped us stand up for America’s national train network!
August 1, 2018
The Senate voted today to pass a funding bill that includes $2.5 billion for passenger rail and ensures the Southwest Chief continues along its established route, turning back an Amtrak proposal to fragment the service with a bus-bridge. Your Rail Passengers Association--both staff, council and membership--has been hard at work over the past few months to ensure the National Network remains intact. We could not have secured today’s win without the help of key allies in the Senate--please join
Your RPA Staff Reports from the Senate Floor
July 25, 2018
If you’re one of the passengers that reached out to their elected official in the past year, it’s clear you’re being heard. The transportation funding bill is currently on the floor, and Senators have filed amendments that directly address the importance of keeping Amtrak’s national footprint intact and on-time performance. So far, 122 amendments have been filed to H.R.6147, the vehicle the Senate is using for the FY 2019 transportation funding bill. Out of the 122 amendments, several d
The Rail Passengers Association is working to oppose an Amtrak proposal to substitute bus service along the Southwest Chief route in Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico.
July 5, 2018
Citing the high costs of maintenance and implementing Positive Train Control (PTC) safety technology, Amtrak submitted a proposal to substitute chartered bus service on the Southwest Chief between Albuquerque and Dodge City or La Junta. Rail Passengers opposes this proposal, and is working with Congressional delegations in Kansas, Colorado, and New Mexico to ensure that train service is continued. Please see also our fact-checking response to Amtrak's proposal Our list of other routes pot