When President-elect Barack Obama met with governors from coast-to-coast in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania his message was one of partnership with our state’s governors. Some pundits cited this move by an incoming president in meeting with the governors during the transition process as unprecedented. Then again, these are unprecedented times.
In this day and age where we will need to think of putting men and women back to work we will need to “experiment” as the president-elect stated. As his statements were aired, an important message coming from our Vice President-elect, Joe Biden was not. Please listen to what Biden had to say of China’s rail-system.
I am one that does believe in mass transportation and that too is part-in-parcel when it comes to jobs creation, and helping to sever our ties with foreign oil. New buses and new trains can be a forward looking project for our country. We just need to get the people into that mind-set. Also to get people on-board (pun intended), it can be seen as a new way of creating revenue for states that need a jumpstart.
Each time you pay your fair, it goes to your local and state governments and not to big-oil. Now that is liberating and can solve our problems within the Middle East.
Also, it can be seen by families as a cost-cutting measure when it comes to their wallets. Figure in how much one pays per-month for car payments, the insurance payments that go with it and yes, the price of gas to power it. We have all see the price of gas fluctuate. As I have cited in previous pieces, I do not drive for medical reasons and must rely on cabs which can be costly.
If the county in which I reside, Suffolk County, NY were to implement a bus system far superior to the one they have now, it would cost me less to get from point A to point B. If I want to go to the nearest mall which is far-away by cab it costs me $30 dollars as opposed to $1.50 by bus. Right now, the bus-system here in Suffolk County does not operate on Sundays and people do work and shop on those days. Even their schedules are pathetic where one can stand at a bus-stop for hours. There has got to be a better way of traveling for those of us who do not drive or for those who will no longer be able to afford to drive.
As the big-three automakers have come to Washington, D.C. with hat-in-hand for bridge-loans, maybe our lawmakers can engage these automakers to retool some of their facilities to build trains and buses as a part of this deal or any future deals to be made. Instead of focusing on cars, they can be building trains and buses to transport the many instead of a few.
I have traveled on Amtrak just like Biden has and I have to say that it is a pleasant experience and here is why: When we are thinking of traveling long-distances, automatically we think of traveling by air. As one travels by air, one has to arrive at the terminal one to two hours before departure time. Not so when it comes to Amtrak. In this post-9/11-world, many who have traveled by air, have gone through security lines and have been asked to remove our shoes. Not so on Amtrak. Many of the planes we take if we travel by coach have seats that are confining at best and can be uncomfortable. On Amtrak trains, the seats are comfortable and yes with enough leg-room to spread out. Hey, even their lavatories are bigger.
If you are a person that loves to travel in comfort, well the Acela Train is far-superior than any coach-ride by air. This train does have a café-car where one can purchase delicious food items. We have all heard and seen that the airline industry were looking to cut out meals served, or worse, you are given boxed food with snacks inside. The last time I traveled on the Acela, I had a huge-juicy cheese burger. Yum!
As some in the airline industry are now charging extra for luggage, on Amtrak that is not the case. They even have bins for passengers to store items too large to be placed over-head compartments.
I do think that Vice President-elect, Joe Biden brought something to the table with his “pro-rail bias” that can be a solution to help sever our ties to big-oil. When it comes to the mind-set of traveling by train or bus, our new way forward should be, “I think I can, I think I can” to borrow a sentiment expressed in ‘The Little Red Train’.
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