Hassles of Air Travel Push Passengers to Amtrak

Great article in today’s New York Times….

The airlines simply regard people as cargo to move from place to place.  As someone who travels by air at least once a month or so, I can tell you, there is nothing pleasant about air travel anymore.  It is uncomfortable.  The planes are often old and dirty.  Customer Service is non-existent.  If anything goes wrong, you can be stranded for days- at your own expense.  It’s just horrible…

I wish train travel were a viable alternative….

It’s truly a shame how America has let it’s passenger rail system decline over the last 50 years.  I wish it was a more viable alternative to air travel in other parts of the country besides the Washington-New York- Boston route.

If we had more trains and more convenient scheduling, I’m convinced train travel would take off outside the Northeast Corridor.  It certainly works in Europe and it would encourage more local tourism, without as much negative environmental impact as car and plane travel.   I would love to be able to catch a train for a day trip somewhere like you can in the UK….

Unfortunately, this will probably not happen in my lifetime.  The “conservatives” have let our infrastructure crumble and aren’t willing to invest in it anymore….

But at least it’s working in the Northeast….

Now, if only we had visionaries who would build on this success….

A decade ago, Delta and US Airways shuttles were the preferred mode of travel between the cities. But high fares, slow airport security and frequent flight delays — along with Amtrak’s high-speed Acela trains, online ticketing and workstation amenities — have eaten away at the airlines’ share of passengers.

Between New York and Washington, Amtrak said, 75 percent of travelers go by train, a huge share that has been building steadily since the Acela was introduced in 2000 and airport security was tightened after 2001. Before that, Amtrak had just over a third of the business between New York and Washington.

In the same period, Amtrak said, its market share between New York and Boston grew to 54 percent from 20 percent.

Nationally, Amtrak ridership is at a record 30 million people; the Northeast accounts for more than a third of that and is virtually the only portion of Amtrak’s system that makes money.

via Hassles of Air Travel Push Passengers to Amtrak – NYTimes.com.

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Filed under Politics, Travel

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