June 22, 2018Rail Passengers was able to obtain a worrying proposal for bus substitution on the Southwest Chief, and is working with Congress to ensure that train service continues for communities in New Mexico, Colorado, and Kansas.
Additionally, the New York Times offered readers an in-depth look at how the billionaire industrialists Koch Brothers supported anti-transit groups, such as the Americans for Prosperity. This one group has negatively influenced numerous transit measures over the years, including the Nashville public transit project which was ultimately voted down this May.
This story highlights the many and very real challenges that passenger rail and public transit groups face when trying to advance projects that would provide greater access for people, economic growth, stronger tourism, and retail and living development.
Also in this week’s Hotline, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey says “no” to funding for the reintroduction of Amtrak service between Mobile and New Orleans more than a decade after Hurricane Katrina struck; an early draft of a feasibility study estimates the NSRL in Boston could cost between $12 and $22 billion; New Jersey has committed up to $600 million to fund the replacement of the old Portal Bridge; a chief engineer with the California High-Speed Rail Authority says that agency’s quality assurance program is working like it should; and Denver’s RTD has received approval to begin removing flaggers at grade crossings.
In addition, Summer by Rail correspondent Jacob Wallace continues his journey to visit 19 baseball stadiums. He is now making his way through Milwaukee, LaCrosse and St. Paul. Keep up with his trip at www.summerbyrail.com or on Twitter and Instagram by following @RailPassengers.
Have a great weekend.
Jim Mathews – President and CEO, Rail Passengers Association