President Bush has only requested $800 million for Amtrak in his Fiscal 2009 budget. Please work to reject this 40% cut and fully fund Amtrak. America needs passenger rail now more than ever as gas prices rise, airlines shut down, and climate change gets closer to the crisis point.Nothing much. It took all of ten minutes to copy a sample letter from the National Association of Rail Passengers, paste it into my congressman's web form. and then add my own paragraph in the middle. I'll let you know what sort of response I get.
Rail is an efficient, low carbon way to travel. In Europe and Asia, they are investing in high tech trains that can travel over 250 MPH. We should at least maintain a 20th century level train system, and consider eventually catching up with the rest of the world.
I also urge your support for the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act, S. 294. The bill provides real, meaningful reform for Amtrak and a federal-state partnership for capital investments, which is enjoyed by the other modes of transportation. Please urge House leadership to pass companion legislation.
Jim Loomis, yesterday's commenter, has a short article about the presidential candidates's stances on Amtrak. Jim is a veteran train traveler; his recent posts give some hard-earned practical advice on train travel.