Regional Passenger Rail Transportation
  1. United States
  2. Letter

Regional Passenger Rail Transportation

To: Pres. Biden

From: A constituent in Pittsburgh, PA

May 9

I am writing to raise my concern about lack of effective passenger rail transportation in the US. I am grateful to President Biden on his attention to national infrastructure particularly in a responsible and sustainable fashion. I understand that there are projects underway as part of this investment to improve rail in major metropolitan areas and I understand the rationale for this, as these are heavy population centers that will make significant per capita impact. However, when I travel to other parts of the world, such as Europe, their train infrastructure is far better and more cost effective than passenger trains in this country. In some ways, I am lucky. I currently live in Pittsburgh, PA. For the last four years I have been serving as an IPA in Alexandria, VA, but I have children who remain in Pittsburgh finishing up their high school education. There is a train that runs directly between Pittsburgh and Washington DC, but it takes (at best) nearly 8 hours, which is twice as long as it takes to drive, let alone, fly between the cities. I understand some of this is geography, but this is particularly troubling. Moreover, the schedules for these trains are not flexible due to preference for cargo trains using those lines. I am now embarking on a job in Syracuse, NY, and again I will need to travel frequently between these two cities. Flying between the two cities has no direct flights and the time to drive is approximately the same as flying. This is the perfect opportunity for the train, except, there is no train between Pittsburgh and Syracuse. There is a train between Erie, PA (2 hr drive from Pittsburgh) and Syracuse, NY (part of a line that goes between NY and Chicago). However, in one direction, I have to ride at 7a, which means I have to drive, park my car and leave my home at 5a. The return trip gets into Erie at 2a, which is not really better. Why? There is one train per day, again ceding preference to cargo… So, I am writing, I want to use rail, I would like to have a cheaper/safer option than driving. This would be ideal for regional transportation, particularly when it is impractical to have direct flights. Unfortunately, the investments being undertaken are NOT serving this need. I would like to understand what steps are being taken to improve regional transportation by rail by this government.

Share on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on WhatsAppShare on TumblrEmail with GmailEmail

Write to Joseph Robinette Biden or any of your elected officials

Resistbot is a chatbot that delivers your texts to your elected officials by email, fax, or postal mail. Tap above to give it a try or learn more here!