Quantcast

New DOT Secretary?

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

Status
Not open for further replies.

tgstubbs1

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Mar 3, 2020
Messages
382
I used to live only a mile and a half from Amtrak so all of my LD trips were 'hikes'.

They used to have Rent a Wreck car rental in a lot of cities. Probably illegal by now, or out if business from insurance costs.

A lot of the appeal if Auto Train for me would be having MY car with MY luggage plus food, etc. AND not racking up thousands of miles on the odometer.
I enjoy driving long distances for the scenery but I'd rather just look out the window of a train.
 

MARC Rider

Conductor
Joined
Apr 5, 2011
Messages
2,434
Location
Baltimore. MD
Nobody should think that rail is the best way to go for every single traveler. Yes, some people may need a car when they get to their destination, but many others don't. And the additional expense of renting the car and the Uber/taxi to the car rental place may be worth it to avoid the long road trip required to bring your own car along. Plus, nearly all of Amtrak's trains serve the relatively few cities in the US where you really don't need a car when you get there. People traveling into New York, Boston, Philly, Chicago, San Francisco, etc. would most likely not need a car. On our trip to the Gathering last year, I was pleasantly surprised that even in Dallas, of all places, I managed pretty well without a car, though I did use Uber one evening to get to a restaurant that was not conveniently located near a DART light rail station and for which the bus service was a bit indirect.
 

Exvalley

Lead Service Attendant
AU Supporter
Joined
Jul 7, 2020
Messages
258
Once-affordable car rentals are now priced out of most budgets, except for shorter trips.
If you are traveling with four people, the cost of a rental vehicle that can actually fit four people and their suitcases is quite high. Those sub-compacts just don't work.
 

Ziv

OBS Chief
Joined
Oct 25, 2011
Messages
699
I rented a car on my first trip to Europe in 1993. I went with my girlfriend and given how much luggage she had, I am glad we got that little Polo. She filled it with luggage! I asked her if she could travel with just one smaller suitcase when we started the trip and she asked me, "Do you like the way I look?" I said I did and never brought up the luggage reduction idea again.
We broke up a year later and though I rent cars when I go home to Montana or when I travel to Cabo, I have never rented a car in Europe or Asia since.
In my umpteen bazillion trips to various countries in Europe I have never ever rented a car. Worst case I had to take a cab a couple of times, but mostly it has been public transit. Admittedly most American cities are yet to evolve to such a state of public transit.
 

AmtrakFlyer

Service Attendant
Joined
Nov 27, 2016
Messages
112
The be politically incorrect. The majority of Americans still think we are the best country in the world bar none. I can only assume the majority of Americans have not traveled the world. The facts are minus our military we debately aren’t even a first world country anymore. Our lifespans are approaching 3rd world levels at 47th worldwide tied with Cuba. Education, infrastructure, retirement are a joke here unfortunately. People need to realize we are only 4.4 percent of the worlds population.
We have an amazing country with unlimited potential but until people stop getting the wool pulled over their eyes things will continue to crumble.

Amtrak is a great analogy to the United States in general. Great potential but at the same time circling the drain.
 

AmtrakFlyer

Service Attendant
Joined
Nov 27, 2016
Messages
112
I don’t think anyone here hates or hates on the United States. We all want to see it improve and prosper. Just like Amtrak. Whether it’s negotiating with freight railroads for on time trains or drug companies for the prices other countries pay, changes need to take place. I’ll leave it at that.
 

toddinde

Service Attendant
Joined
Apr 23, 2015
Messages
172
Location
Sierra Vista, AZ
The problem when you compare the train to driving is that you are without a vehicle once you get to your destination. That’s a turn off to a lot of people.
I never understand that. Rental cars are pretty cheap and plentiful most places. It certainly doesn’t discourage air travel where nobody has their own car at the destination. There are plenty of options now including Uber and Lyft. I don’t think this is a major issue for the passenger train in general.
 

lyke99

Service Attendant
Joined
Aug 10, 2009
Messages
133
Location
Rochester, MN
Unfortunately the level of window tint in my car in Florida is illegal in NJ/NY. So no more Auto Train ride to the Northeast for me :( I had no idea that NY/NJ had such requirements, and that people actually get ticketed for it. Oh well....
I have friends who transferred to Las Vegas for work, then a couple of years later when the company went through some consolidation they were moved back to Minnesota. They've been pulled over, but not cited for the same "offense" in the car they purchased while living there. They tell me every car on that dealer's lot had the same level of window tint...

To get back to the original topic of the post, I think Pete Buttigieg will approach the job with a level of enthusiasm/passion we haven't seen from a Secretary of Transportation in a while, if ever.
 

Ziv

OBS Chief
Joined
Oct 25, 2011
Messages
699
True, but then you have added $25 to $50 per day to the cost of your trip. Not crippling, but it does limit your spending on other items.
I never understand that. Rental cars are pretty cheap and plentiful most places. It certainly doesn’t discourage air travel where nobody has their own car at the destination. There are plenty of options now including Uber and Lyft. I don’t think this is a major issue for the passenger train in general.
 

IndyLions

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Nov 6, 2016
Messages
462
Location
Brownsburg IN
To get back to the original topic of the post, I think Pete Buttigieg will approach the job with a level of enthusiasm/passion we haven't seen from a Secretary of Transportation in a while, if ever.
That’s what I feel as well. And not only his enthusiasm but his progressive yet moderate approach.

There’s no question he lacks experience – but that also means he is likely less jaded. Another good thing!
 

Cho Cho Charlie

Conductor
Joined
Apr 9, 2009
Messages
2,263
Location
Near an Amtrak station
Pete Buttigieg, the pick to lead the U.S. Department of Transportation, reached out at Biden's request, to our local government, asking what our needs would be.

I have no idea if rail service was brought up. A while back, Amtrak ran a demonstration excursion, from NYC, to show that passenger rail service was indeed possible (a lot of nay-sayers claimed that the tracks have all been, long ago, torn all up).

"Buttigieg made improving rail service a key part of his tenure as mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and has a good understanding of the problems facing local governments..."
 

Devil's Advocate

Sarcastic Misanthrope
Joined
May 24, 2010
Messages
11,974
Location
Texas
Amtrak is by no means out of the woods but things are looking up. Assuming tradition holds (big assumption) after the new VP's Senate seat is vacated, nominated, and reseated the President, House, and Senate should all be in moderate favor of Amtrak with swing Senators holding much of the power over spending. This should mean Amtrak funding will be relatively stable if not substantially improved but that big regulatory changes will probably be reversed by a Supreme Court that is likely to put private business interests above the government's power to regulate commerce.
 
Last edited:

AFS1970

Train Attendant
Joined
Jan 3, 2016
Messages
67
Gaps are not unusual at all, that is why the #2 in most departments is a career civil servant who can cover while the confirmation process goes through. I agree that she has really done nothing special as secretary but leaving in the last days of an administration is still no big thing.
I am not a fan of Mayor Pete as I think he trades on his personal life more than any actual accomplishments, but I am hopeful that he is at least somewhat interested in transportation. I can't see Biden, who is an Amtrak passenger, putting someone in that position who is anti-train.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ziv

AmtrakFlyer

Service Attendant
Joined
Nov 27, 2016
Messages
112
He’s more accomplished than most 30 somethings and quite frankly people twice is age.

Even if his campaign for POTUS had been successful he would have brought more to the table with his military and political experience than a movie star, someone born into a political family following his fathers footsteps or a reality tv personality.
We are on the same page bottom line he should be good for Amtrak and the DOT.

Gaps are not unusual at all, that is why the #2 in most departments is a career civil servant who can cover while the confirmation process goes through. I agree that she has really done nothing special as secretary but leaving in the last days of an administration is still no big thing.
I am not a fan of Mayor Pete as I think he trades on his personal life more than any actual accomplishments, but I am hopeful that he is at least somewhat interested in transportation. I can't see Biden, who is an Amtrak passenger, putting someone in that position who is anti-train.
 

pennyk

Conductor
Staff member
Administator
Moderator
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2009
Messages
10,630
Location
Orlando, FL
Many posts in this thread veered way off topic and became way too political. An attempt was made to remove most of those posts.

This thread has been locked. When posting in other threads, please refrain from political comments unrelated to Amtrak and try to stay on topic. Thank you for your continued cooperation.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top