Ever since Barack Obama tapped Delaware Senator Joseph Biden as his vice presidential nominee, much has been made of how Amtrak would benefit from an Obama/Biden White House. The general point being how it has been heavily publicized that Joe uses Amtrak to commute daily to & from Washington D.C. The main point stems from his voting record which has shown strong support for funding the much maligned rail road agency.
However an article in yesterday’s Washington Post questions whether an Obama/Biden White House means automatic help for Amtrak. Here is a sample of Ben Pershing’s article:
By now, it’s nearly impossible to have missed the fact that Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (Del.), the Democratic vice presidential nominee, is such a homebody and regular guy that he rides Amtrak between Washington and Delaware every day when Congress is in session.
But Biden isn’t just one of the passenger rail system’s most famous commuters — he is also one of its biggest supporters in the Senate.
“He’s right up there,” said David Johnson, deputy director of the National Association of Railroad Passengers. “I’d say in the top five [in the Senate] for sure. I can definitely say he’s the biggest user.”
Click here for the complete article
I am concerned at the mindset of many who feel such a ticket would mean automatic help for Amtrak. The agency which in my & many others opinion continues to be run in the ground should not get more funding until it commits to running itself properly. The agency clearly should shape their routes based on what the passengers actually need & desire instead of wasting money & resources on routes that clearly have a lack of ridership & overall purpose.
My other concern is the lack of talk about how this duo would help fund our transit infrastructure across the country. During Obama’s nomination acceptance speech, I heard about investing in new roads & making cars more affordable. I did not hear a single point of showing a need to invest in our transit systems which would make our country a better place if invested in. The coming months should be quite telling as to how serious this duo is in really helping America improve which strong transit systems would be a vital part of.
xoxo Transit Blogger