Amtrak’s 2035 card gets people talking
When President Biden broke his big news infrastructure plan last week, the proposal included much more than repairing crumbling bridges. And for those who wish America had a more robust passenger train network, it gave them something new: hope.
Biden’s $ 2 trillion infrastructure package includes two provisions for passenger rail: $ 85 billion to modernize public transport (commuter train, buses, stations, etc.) and $ 80 billion to improve and expand the country’s passenger and freight rail network.
“You and your family could travel from coast to coast without a single tank of gas on a bullet train,” Biden noted when the plan is unveiled.
But the idea isn’t just great family trips – it’s about using improved rail infrastructure and services to alleviate issues like traffic and air pollution, as well as to improve l ‘access to jobs. Transportation is the the biggest source of US greenhouse gas emissions.
“The U.S. Jobs Plan will build new rail corridors and transit lines, alleviating congestion, reducing pollution, reducing commute times, and opening up investments in communities that can be connected to towns and cities across the country. the outskirts, where many jobs are these days. This will reduce trade bottlenecks at our ports and airports, ”Biden said.
The White House noted the rail investment “would solve Amtrak’s backlog of repairs; modernize the high-traffic northeast corridor; improve existing corridors and connect new pairs of cities; and improve grant and loan programs that support the safety, efficiency and electrification of passenger and freight trains.
Amtrak quickly responded with enthusiasm to Biden’s plan, with a map and a vision what an expanded U.S. rail network would look like by 2035.
The proposed transformation would result in around 30 new lines and more trips on 20 existing lines. It projects 20 million more people served than the 32 million who rode on Amtrak in fiscal 2019.
It shows an array of potential new service lines: a new rail connecting all of Texas’ major cities and new connections across the Midwest, including between Cincinnati, Columbus, Ohio and Cleveland. In the Southeast, new roads would extend from Atlanta to Chattanooga and Nashville, Tenn., Savannah, Ga., And Montgomery, Ala.
There would be service in all of the contiguous United States except South Dakota – a fact that drew anger by Governor Kristi Noem, who criticized the infrastructure package.
Amtrak says that better rail service means “cleaner air, less traffic and happier people,” and this highlights the inequality that has resulted from the country’s current uneven rail service: “Many of the more metropolitan areas. The country’s largest and most vibrant, with diverse populations, do not have the rail service they deserve.
Cities like Houston, Atlanta, and Cincinnati currently have straightforward Amtrak service, with trains stopping only once a day and often in the middle of the night. Major cities like Las Vegas, Nashville, Columbus, and Phoenix do not have Amtrak service.
And this little happiness? Amtrak notes that in some cities people spend more than 80 hours per year in traffic. “Population growth will worsen the situation without better alternatives like rail,” he warns.
Across the country, local news deepened what the rail expansion could mean for their communities.
“More direct train service between Raleigh and Richmond – and towns beyond. New passenger lines to the North Carolina Coast and State Mountains, Raleigh, North Carolina The News & Observer wrote.
“Prospects for a passenger rail line connecting Baton Rouge and New Orleans have been strengthened this week,” wrote New Orleans Lawyer, noting that the last passenger train to serve Baton Rouge, Louisiana ended in 1969.
“Amtrak may soon have the money to install a new rail line between Las Vegas and Los Angeles,” he added. Reno Gazette-Journal noted.
“President Joe Biden’s infrastructure improvement plan would bring Amtrak passenger service back to Phoenix for the first time in decades,” NPR member station KJZZ Noted.
And on Twitter, people started posting which railroad lines they had As see. As a direct route from Ohio to Florida.
Before any of this can happen, an infrastructure bill will have to go through Congress. The House and Senate are both working on infrastructure bills, which should include what the administration proposed, but the process is still not clear.
For those hungry for alternatives to the car, the landmark proposal from a president known for his former daily Amtrak ride from his home in Wilmington, Del., DC is what they expected.
“President Biden’s plan would revolutionize the way Americans travel, finally bringing American passengers into the 21st century,” he added. noted Jim Mathews, President and CEO of the Rail Passengers Association.
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