Amtrak has golden opportunity this summer

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MIRAILFAN

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T heres a possible gas shortage due to short age of tanker truck drivers for gasoline. Amtrak should promote rail as an alternative to driving! Discount at first than increase if demand goes up.
 

Cal

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Not quite sure what to think, it'll be interesting how this discussion unfolds.

I will say, Amtrak sleepers are already pretty full right now.
 

SarahZ

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T heres a possible gas shortage due to short age of tanker truck drivers for gasoline. Amtrak should promote rail as an alternative to driving! Discount at first than increase if demand goes up.
Trains use diesel, which is also hauled by tanker trucks, so I'm not sure where you're going with this?
 

MIRAILFAN

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Trains use diesel, which is also hauled by tanker trucks, so I'm not sure where you're going with this?
The trains operate no matter passenger load. If people who drive ride the train, that train uses same gas but the cars of the people wouldn't use gas.
 

SarahZ

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The trains operate no matter passenger load. If people who drive ride the train, that train uses same gas but the cars of the people wouldn't use gas.
I think commuters are the larger concern.
 
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Michigan Mom

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Rail and light rail is always promoted as an alternative to driving where it's available.
The golden opportunity you are seeing, has been a golden opportunity for a long time.
It all depends where you live.
 
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Willbridge

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Having been through these cycles several times I can tell you that there are both good and bad points.

The good points are the consequent political support for alternative modes and additional revenue for transport providers that have fuel. The bad points are that customers who are forced to switch modes have a bad attitude and the reservation system gets overloaded.
 
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Willbridge

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Here's a balanced discussion of the gasoline trucking situation:

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/summer-scramble-for-gasoline-on-tap-amid-tank-truck-driver-shortage

The problem that the article doesn't cover is that when random outages occur, people keep topping their tanks up. During the (1972) 1973-1974 (1975) Energy Crisis we informally calculated that Oregonians had doubled the inventory of gasoline stored in their gas tanks. Even without the 'help' of social media there were rumors of ships offshore holding back petroleum. Actually, it was motorists doing the hoarding.

When people saw a green flag station (one that had supplies) they would get into line to top off their tanks. This photo from my neighborhood back then shows the other traffic tied up due to a loss of a lane occupied by gas-seekers.

1974 001.jpg
 

MARC Rider

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Also, I will say. Amtrak has had tons of golden opportunities in the past. And how many of them did they actually act upon?
Actually, with the exception of the long-distance service, Amtrak service today is far superior to the passenger rail available in 1971. And at least today, there's strong political support in Congress for at least maintaining the existing long-distance network, unlike 1971, when everybody was expecting long-distance rail travel to just die.
 

MARC Rider

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Those weren't traffic jams. Those were parked GM and Ford cars that never sold.
;)
Let me tell you a secret. I used to drive my own car out to southeast Michigan for work trips before I discovered that renting a car was cheaper. Let's just say that when I drove my own car out there, it wasn't the only Honda running around on the local roads. :):)
 

SarahZ

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drive. theres no big commutetrafficin michign.
Speaking as someone who used to commute in Metro Detroit, I can say, with confidence, that you have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about.

Also, you may want to check out 94 between Kalamazoo and Battle Creek and 131 between Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids.
 

MIRAILFAN

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ive livedin sandiego. Detroits is Sunday driving compared to there. GRand rapids to Kalamazoo is slow Iadmit but it Moves. And has 3 lanes eachway inseadof 5 wach way in cali.
 
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Cal

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ive livedin sandiego. Detroits is Sunday driving compared to there. GRand rapids to Kalamazoo is slow Iadmit but it Moves. And has 3 lanes eachway inseadof 5 wach way in cali.
Yep, I'm in the LA area .Traffic get's bad
 

MIRAILFAN

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Speaking as someone who used to commute in Metro Detroit, I can say, with confidence, that you have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about.

Also, you may want to check out 94 between Kalamazoo and Battle Creek and 131 between Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids.
Kalamazoo to Grand Rapids could use commuter rail.
 

Tlcooper93

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MBTA service is restored in Boston to pre-pandemic levels, which is good because in 2019, there were several studies that concluded that Boston had the worst congestion in the country. Such a shame given the city's extensive transit network.

MBTA is great (for the US), but the current much needed projects like new Orange Line cars, and Green Line extension is really good. Getting across the river is tough, and nobody wants to sit in traffic. Summer in cities is going to be crazy. Everyone is going to want to get out and do stuff, and transpo needs to be ready!
 

LookingGlassTie

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It's possible that whatever is causing the truck driver shortage will also affect Amtrak.

And as SarahZ mentioned upthread, Amtrak locomotives (most of them) use diesel, so that has to be accounted for.
 
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