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USA Today Article on LD Service Cutbacks

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Night Ranger

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It's an interesting story that describes the effects LD cutbacks are going to have on North-South travel plans Black travelers. The majority Black communities served by Amtrak are going to feel the greatest effects from the cuts.
 

Cho Cho Charlie

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Wow, while USA Today might have a good point to make, throwing around generalizations focusing on race seems intended to only inflame the reader.

For example, "... African Americans in the U.S. ... use Amtrak more than the general population."

To me, reading that makes me think that African Americans make up at least 51% of the Amtrak ridership. Therefore, Amtrak's changes are targeting only African Americans the most (intentionally or unintentionally).

Further down, after inflaming the reader on race, USA Today tosses in a fact that "African Americans are ... 19% of Amtrak's ridership".

Sorry, I don't think Amtrak had any race related intentions in their system cut backs. If a station has a small number of daily riders, be they white, black, green (Vulcan), or blue (Andorian), and cut backs are required, it is not targeting any of those races when it closes that under utilized station. That's business and consistent with their directive of covering their costs.

What's tomorrow's article? Cutting back trains to Florida is Amtrak specifically targeting our beloved senior citizens?
 

Michigan Mom

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Black people depend on trains more than white people, as a proportion of their population compared to ridership. That is income based and geography based.
However, I don't think that's even close of a racial issue as the much bigger problem of the transfer of capital, land and wealth away from black populations.
 

Devil's Advocate

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Sorry, I don't think Amtrak had any race related intentions in their system cut backs. [...] That's business and consistent with their directive of covering their costs. What's tomorrow's article? Cutting back trains to Florida is Amtrak specifically targeting our beloved senior citizens?
You keep using the term "target" but I couldn't find that word (or a synonym) anywhere in the article. I don't think Amtrak "targeted" Black Americans and, so far as I can tell, neither did the author.

Therefore, Amtrak's changes are targeting only African Americans the most (intentionally or unintentionally). Further down, after inflaming the reader on race, USA Today tosses in a fact that "African Americans are ... 19% of Amtrak's ridership".
You say it's "tossed in further down" but it's literally the very next sentence. Maybe the article focuses on the impact to Black Americans because that angle is mentioned in the title and it's a sister story to another article about the doors that were opening to Black porters in the era of the green book?
 
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jruff001

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Wow, while USA Today might have a good point to make, throwing around generalizations focusing on race seems intended to only inflame the reader.
I wasn't "inflamed" at all. I think you are seeing something that isn't there.

For example, "... African Americans in the U.S. ... use Amtrak more than the general population."

To me, reading that makes me think that African Americans make up at least 51% of the Amtrak ridership.
?? How on Earth would you reach that conclusion? No offense, but that is not how math works.

Therefore, Amtrak's changes are targeting only African Americans the most (intentionally or unintentionally).

Further down, after inflaming the reader on race, USA Today tosses in a fact that "African Americans are ... 19% of Amtrak's ridership".

Sorry, I don't think Amtrak had any race related intentions in their system cut backs. If a station has a small number of daily riders, be they white, black, green (Vulcan), or blue (Andorian), and cut backs are required, it is not targeting any of those races when it closes that under utilized station.
Nowhere did this article state or imply that Amtrak was intentionally targeting African-Americans in its Covid cutback decisions.
 

20th Century Rider

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It's an interesting story that describes the effects LD cutbacks are going to have on North-South travel plans Black travelers. The majority Black communities served by Amtrak are going to feel the greatest effects from the cuts.
Cutbacks / corona virus / Western Fires --- everything is so dismal right now. It is important to focus on the optimistic outlook for the new year 2021... the pandemic will end... just as did the pandemic of 1918... and it ended without a vaccine. As for the fires and the environment... it is up to us on this forum to put pressure on lawmakers to bring back rail travel stronger than ever, because rail travel is the antidote for environmentally friendly travel. So c'mon rail enthusiasts ... there's hope! 😃☺😇🤠

 

Devil's Advocate

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A soon as things quiet down for a few days some "journalist" has to add gasoline to the fire.
I honestly didn't see anything inflammatory in the article but if you did can quote the part you felt crossed a line?

It's the same everywhere... if there's no story find one.
This thread seems to be a better example of that mindset than the article itself.
 
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jis

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A soon as things quiet down for a few days some "journalist" has to add gasoline to the fire.
I honestly didn't see anything inflammatory in the article but if you did can quote the part you felt crossed a line?
It's the same everywhere... if there's no story find one.
This thread seems to be a better example of that mindset than the article itself.
Indeed! I scan this thread with some fascination for the reason you state.

At times it feels like the entire forum is driven to some extent by that principle. ;)
 
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tgstubbs1

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A lot of times writers will try to tie into a 'hot' topic--it helps pull in readers to less well known subject.

That's what I thought when I read it. It has some validity as well and offers a different point of view. It doesn't hurt to look at all the angles. It's one reason we have a democracy.
 

20th Century Rider

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A soon as things quiet down for a few days some "journalist" has to add gasoline to the fire. It's the same everywhere... if there's no story find one.
News tends to focus on sensationalism without regard for the subjects it offends. We need to be more critical of the news media by questioning in their points of view... just as we are doing now on this forum! News media needs to be accurate and accountable for what they want to print.

Catchy stories bring ad money. That's a greed thing. I am offended by all the news media in general; specifically because they are not always objective... and strong opinions tend to slant stories.

So let's keep the discussion going on this forum... let's keep asking questions and expressing our own points of view... That is something I do believe in!!!;)
 

LookingGlassTie

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My issue with the article is not whether the information presented is factual, but rather the timing.

To quote a post above, it does appear to "add gasoline to the fire".
 

Manny T

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The article is timely, informative, and says what it says -- that African-Americans, who make up 13% of the US population, comprise 19% of Amtrak's riders "according to a recent passenger survey" (by Amtrak?). Thus, African-Americans use Amtrak disproportionately and are likely to be disproportionately affected by cuts. There is nothing sensational in the article, either in presentation or contents.

However, it is attention-getting, because it's not the way most people usually think about Amtrak: it got my attention, and quite possibly the attention of Amtrak's management. In fact, the first quote from an Amtrak official, just 55 words into the article, is this:

"Amtrak's chief marketing and commercial officer, Roger Harris, told USA TODAY that the changes are not intended to be permanent: "It’s fully our intention to go back to daily.""

What could be better than that? Mission accomplished.
 

Devil's Advocate

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News tends to focus on sensationalism without regard for the subjects it offends. We need to be more critical of the news media by questioning in their points of view... just as we are doing now on this forum! News media needs to be accurate and accountable for what they want to print.
I'm still trying to understand which part was inaccurate and unaccountable. So far as I can tell the article does exactly what it says on the tin.

Catchy stories bring ad money. That's a greed thing. I am offended by all the news media in general; specifically because they are not always objective... and strong opinions tend to slant stories.
If anything the bias was pro-rail. You would think this sort of position would be well received by other pro-rail advocates, but I guess being offended by reading about racial impact is more important than sharing the goal of more passenger rail funding.

My issue with the article is not whether the information presented is factual, but rather the timing. To quote a post above, it does appear to "add gasoline to the fire".
That sounds a lot like the NRA mantra. "We can't talk about addressing a problem until that problem ceases to exist."
 

20th Century Rider

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I'm still trying to understand which part was inaccurate and unaccountable. So far as I can tell the article does exactly what it says on the tin.


If anything the bias was pro-rail. You would think this sort of position would be well received by other pro-rail advocates, but I guess being offended by reading about racial impact is more important than sharing the goal of more passenger rail funding.


That sounds a lot like the NRA mantra. "We can't talk about addressing a problem until that problem ceases to exist."
My statement was on the media in general... anything that grabs interest should be looked at analytically.
 

jebr

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The article is timely, informative, and says what it says -- that African-Americans, who make up 13% of the US population, comprise 19% of Amtrak's riders "according to a recent passenger survey" (by Amtrak?). Thus, African-Americans use Amtrak disproportionately and are likely to be disproportionately affected by cuts. There is nothing sensational in the article, either in presentation or contents.
I agree, though I'd be curious how much of the increased ridership per capita from African Americans is simply a reflection of existing income disparities. If we normalize for income, would we still see that larger per capita ridership, or is it more a proxy that Amtrak ridership, especially coach ridership, leans towards lower-income households generally?
 

jiml

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I honestly didn't see anything inflammatory in the article but if you did can quote the part you felt crossed a line?


This thread seems to be a better example of that mindset than the article itself.
I simply agreed with @railiner in his post regarding the media. There was nothing specific about this one article - just a general observation on the media and their penchant for stirring the pot when a subject starts to diminish in the public eye.
 

jis

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I simply agreed with @railiner in his post regarding the media. There was nothing specific about this one article - just a general observation on the media and their penchant for stirring the pot when a subject starts to diminish in the public eye.
One problem with that argument is that it assumes that the issue has actually diminished in the public eye, specially of those that are at the receiving end of the associated disadvantage. But that discussion is well beyond the scope of this forum perhaps.
 
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