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Archive for Sunday, January 11, 2009

Amtrak support

January 11, 2009

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To the editor:

Last April a group of local citizens formed Depot Redux to ensure a more certain future for local passenger trains and our depot. Alex Parker’s article “Depot Getting Back on Track” (Journal-World, Jan. 5) describes well our efforts to clean up and improve the safety and service at our passenger rail station in east Lawrence.

Amtrak is committed to maintaining and upgrading services to those communities who, in turn, show support for passenger rail. As an expression of Amtrak’s commitment, they are paying the salaries of two station caretakers to care for and open the depot — one for the 12:30 a.m. arrival of the Southwest Chief, the other for its 5:45 a.m. arrival. Depot Redux supervises the caretakers, but their presence would not be possible without Amtrak funding.

Helping to save our communities’ depots feeds the hope of improved public transportation. Parker skillfully captures this by describing the recent changes in our depot made possible by Depot Redux and others. The article concluded that renewed interest in rail travel may be about linking people together. Perhaps that is one of the reasons Amtrak ridership continues to soar and that Lawrence volunteers continue to support Depot Redux.

People are hungry to help and to travel in a more civilized way than afforded by either air or automobile. Despite its current inconveniences and shortcomings, Amtrak travel satisfies when the goal is more about the trip than the destination.

Carey Maynard-Moody,
Lawrence

Comments

Chris Ogle 5 years, 9 months ago

Carey, could I borrow your "lens of life" ? I wanna start liking roundabouts.

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gccs14r 5 years, 9 months ago

I really wish we could have taken the train to the Symphony last night. Take a bus/trolley to the station, ride over to KC, hop a bus/trolley to 11th & Central, listen to the symphony, then reverse. We could have done that in a civilized country.

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labmonkey 5 years, 9 months ago

I would like to see more train service (hell, why can't we get a bullet train in this country?) ....but putting the United States dowm gccs14r? If you don't like it, get the hell out.

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SettingTheRecordStraight 5 years, 9 months ago

First of all, when Carey mentions Amtrak funding, know that she means taxpayer funding. Every year Congress allocates hundre$ of million$ of our money to underwrte the Amtrak vacuum.Also, you may or may not know that Kansans pay federal income taxes that are used to underwrite the inefficient Amtrak system. Amtrak almost exclusively serves customers on the East Coast. Your tax dollars are subsidizing the travel of New Yorkers and Bostonians while we get little if anything in return. Demand that taxpayer funding for the Amtrak debacle stop.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 9 months ago

The amount of government subsidies Amtrak gets is chicken feed compared to what auto/truck and air travel get.

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notajayhawk 5 years, 9 months ago

gccs14r (Anonymous) says… "We could have done that in a civilized country."You can take a bus or a train most anywhere in the third world, gccs, where they can't afford the advantages personal transportation. But I agree with labmonkey - feel free to depart for 'civilization' at any time, I seriously doubt you'll be missed (or anyone will notice you're gone).***just_another_bozo_on_this_bus (Anonymous) says… "The amount of government subsidies Amtrak gets is chicken feed compared to what auto/truck and air travel get."The difference, which boohoozo's limited cognitive capacity leaves him forever unable to grasp, is that people actually use the roads and the airports. Per passenger mile, the subsidies to Amtrak and bus service is far in excess of the modes of transportation people actually use.You see, clown_rants_from_ bus, a 'subsidy' generally refers to something that everyone has to pay in order to support the miniscule number of freeloaders like your esteemed self. Call it a subsidy if your pinhead can't fathom the difference, but no matter how you add it up, the roads are paid for by the people who use them, whether in direct fuel taxes, tolls, or general fund taxes. Amtrak and public transportation can not make the same claim, and never will be able to.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 9 months ago

So tell me, nota, if you didn't come here and froth sufficiently while "discussing" an issue, would your head explode?

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paavopetie 5 years, 9 months ago

notajayhawk said:"Per passenger mile, the subsidies to Amtrak and bus service is far in excess of the modes of transportation people actually use." Do you have any legitimate figures to back this claim up? "but no matter how you add it up, the roads are paid for by the people who use them, whether in direct fuel taxes, tolls, or general fund taxes. Amtrak and public transportation can not make the same claim, and never will be able to."Hmm, let's apply this logic to libraries. I can afford to buy every book I ever want to read and don't use the library. Why should my local tax dollars go towards funding all of the public libraries in the city when I think I'm never going to use it?Answer: because it is a public service, and it is there in case you ever need it... when you need to pick up a tax form, when your computer crashes and you need to check your e-mail, when you need a meeting place, and heaven forbid, when you need a book you can't seem to buy for whatever reason.Because Amtrak stops in Lawrence I was able to take the train back from Chicago and WALK half a mile home, instead of arriving at KCI and having another hour drive to get home.

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gl0ck0wn3r 5 years, 9 months ago

"People are hungry to help and to travel in a more civilized way than afforded by either air or automobile."Seriously? Travel by rail is "more civilized" than air or car? By what metric?

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