Thursday, November 01, 2007

Riding the Rails

Ezra bemoans the problems with Amtrak here and here, but the federally subsidized rail company seems to be doing rather well here in Illinois. And before anyone pipes in with the predicable “but we shouldn’t be subsidizing rail travel with tax money” whine, remember that road and air travel are also heavily subsidized with tax dollars.

Personally, I love taking the train. It really is the best way to get from here to Chicago, especially if you’re staying downtown. I know there are horror stories out there regarding delays, but I’ve mostly had very positive experiences.

1 comment:

rickmonday said...

I travel back and forth to Chicago every week. I would love to take the train more often as the price of gas is killing me but there are a few problems with Amtrak which need to be fixed first.

1. Delays, delays, delays. Over the past 10 years I have taken the train probably 25 times and it has been on time only once. The usual delay is well over 90 minutes.

2. Internet access. If they really want to increase ridership, then they have to cater to the business sector. I would take it more often if I could get internet access and do some work (and blogging) on the train while commuting.

Finally, I agree with TEH and have no problem with subsidies for Amtrak. As the population grows, gas prices increase, and traffic becomes more congested, the train can be a nice comfortable and hopefully cheaper alternative. I think it is in our nations best interest to promote rail transportation.