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A Major Expansion Could Occur if Amtrak only did this.


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#41 Green Maned Lion

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Posted 14 October 2017 - 11:09 AM

I dont think NARP is good at that kind of thing. Or any kind of thing really.
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#42 Carolina Special

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Posted 15 October 2017 - 08:00 PM

I think a few AU members could do a better job on those YouTube videos. Any volunteers?


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#43 neroden

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 01:39 PM

Getting the average American, who can barely perform arrithmetic 2 years after finishing College or Algebra, to understand things like operating, capital, avoidable, and fully allocated costs is a laughable concept

What's sad is that the average Congressman appears to be no more numerate than the average American.

I've met *good* Congresspeople who are significantly more numerate than the average American. It would be nice if they had a majority.

Edited by neroden, 17 October 2017 - 01:39 PM.

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#44 jis

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 02:39 PM

I would also rather have NARP work towards advocating funding for passenger rail service of all sorts rather than act merely as an additional marketing outfit for Amtrak. Amtrak is the one that should produce the kind of material suggested above.


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#45 west point

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 03:07 PM

Most congress persons and all POLs in general cannot understand numbers/  Instead they understand how to convince many voters that their rhetoric is all true and then cannot deliver.   Any examples ? 


Edited by west point, 17 October 2017 - 03:08 PM.


#46 jis

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 04:16 PM

Most congress persons and all POLs in general cannot understand numbers/  Instead they understand how to convince many voters that their rhetoric is all true and then cannot deliver.   Any examples ? 

But  the Congress persons' staff are often very knowledgeable and do understand numbers and all that. What one has to do is work with their staff and construct a presentation of the issues in a way that the Congress person can use constructively at the appropriate venues. I actually have a lot of respect for many of the Congressional staffers having worked with them for several years now, even of those Congresspeople whose core positions are completely opposed to many aspects of funding passenger rail. Even those are reasonably amenable to an argument made using solid numbers that actually affect their constituents. The current problem is meeting that "affect their constituents bar" in areas where there isn't much passenger rail. it is a bit of a chicken and egg problem in addition to changing the auto-centric mindset problem.



#47 WoodyinNYC

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 04:54 PM

 

Most congress persons and all POLs in general cannot understand numbers ...

Even those are reasonably amenable to an argument made using solid numbers that actually affect their constituents. The current problem is meeting that "affect their constituents bar" in areas where there isn't much passenger rail. it is a bit of a chicken and egg problem ...

I don't know when was the last clear-cut up or down vote on keeping vs slashing Amtrak. But it would be fun to map out the national system to see if the nay votes actually do come from unserved districts.

 

Well, I recall Sen McCain said Arizona didn't have any Amtrak service. I'd maybe forgive him for saying that if the only route was 3-days-a-week to Maricopa. But Arizona has that AND the relatively successful Southwest Chief.

 

Without actually doing such a map and comparison, I'll hazard that new, restored, or added service including, say, NYC-Charleston-Cincinnati-CHI increased to daily along with New Orleans-Houston/San Antonio-El Paso-Tucson-Maricopa-L.A. Then New Orleans-Orlando, Atlanta-Meridien-Dallas-Ft Worth, Denver-Omaha-Des Moines-CHI, NYC-Philly-Pittsburgh-Cleveland-CHI, a day train NYC-D.C.-Richmond-Raleigh-Charlotte-Atlanta, CHI-St Paul-Fargo-Billings-Missoula-Spokane-Seattle, and perhaps several other routes would be viable.

 

(Numerous corridors such as Baton Rouge-New Orleans, New Orleans-Biloxi-Mobile, Columbus-Ft Wayne-Chicago, CHI-Indianapolis-Cincinnati/Louisville, CHI-Toledo-Cleveland, and CHI-Memphis would also be viable.

 

Yes, viable. In fact, set the barrier for added long distance trains as having a service plan that must meet or exceed Amtrak's average LD revenue-per-passenger and operating results before unallocated overhead. (Note that I admit to nothing in capital expenditures for these routes. We'll need another few Stimulus-sized appropriations at least.)

 

Such an expanded system would also decrease the number of voting critics as their districts gained service and Amtrak's revenues, passenger totals, and operating results improved.


Edited by WoodyinNYC, 17 October 2017 - 05:12 PM.


#48 neroden

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 10:24 PM

I think NARP at one point produced a map showing how Congresspeople voted on a pretty clear up-or-down Amtrak vote, by district. While I expected nothing from the Wyoming representatives, there really were a surprising number of doctrinaire anti-Amtrak votes who had well-used stations in their districts, and quite a few Amtrak supporters with no station anywhere near their district. I'd like to see a more recent version of that map, but it seems to be a lot of work to create (unless there's a tool online where you can plug in a particular Congressional vote and get a map to pop out -- there might be but I don't know of one).
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#49 jis

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 11:13 PM

The problem outside the traditional Amtrak support areas is that if one is lucky to have a representative who supports Amtrak for whatever reason that is great. OTOH, if there is a rep that does not support Amtrak for doctrinaire reason, there is not enough of a group of Amtrak customers in his/her district to have much of an effect on him/her. Just having a little station in district is not enough. Having significant salary or other commercial spend in the district helps much more. And there is a rather broadly believed doctrine among many Americans that government running anything (except their highways of course) is bad. Ergo Amtrak is bad. So there is ready fertile ground for the antis to establish credibility for themselves on the subject. That in a nutshell is the problem.



#50 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 11:57 PM

If I had to guess whether a Congress critter would support Amtrak or not the stereotypes would be...

 

a) Does Amtrak "serve" my state/district (when I say serve, it means frequency, time, to what cities)? Also, what other transportation options. Philly probably doesn't care as much about Amtrak while Amtrak means everything to Rugby, ND. I think it would make sense that Amtrak would have more support in rural areas with no airports nearby than urban areas.

 

b) Party lines when it comes to budget fights. I'm not saying it's right or makes sense but when do battles in Congress ever make sense. I know I'm treading the political lines here but you wonder if pro Amtrak vs. anti Amtrak is party lines. We do know of Republicans that do support Amtrak and I do guess they are in category a). Ironically, Republican support stereo-typically tends to be stronger in rural areas and Democratic support in urban areas.


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#51 PRR 60

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 11:44 AM

A bunch of off-topic posts have been moved to a new Lounge topic that can be found here:

 

http://discuss.amtra...of-republicans/



#52 cpotisch

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 05:57 PM

It is said that it pays to advertise and that's what Amtrak needs to do right now. We are at a period in air travel where the seats have shrunken to as little as 16" wide and the legroom decreased to as little as 28".  There is zero comfort sitting in a seat that small and sitting that tight for an extended period greatly increases the chances of a blood clot. Time for Amtrak to exploit this additional abuse of airlines passengers and advertise that people have comfortable seats on its trains. They should show what it is like for a heavy set person to be squeezed into an airline seat and show the same person sitting at his/her Amtrak seat with plenty of room, looking out the window while the scenery goes by and sipping a pina colada . The airlines has given Amtrak and opening and its time for management to exploit this violation of human rights with an advertising campaign. Slogan-  " Don't travel like an animal on the airlines, travel in comfort as ladies and gentlemen do on Amtrak" 

A couple things:

  • I don't think dlagrua meant to say that people who fly are animals, but rather that the airlines treat them like animals. That said, that phrasing could very easily be taken as saying that the passengers ARE animals, so it is rather risky for an advertisement trying to attract those people. That problem is exacerbated by the 'ladies and gentleman' line, as that really does seem to imply that civilized people only travel Amtrak, and comes across as somewhat smug/superior. It sort of says "You the airlines, so you're not a proper gentleman", you know?
  • Additionally, Amtrak doesn't offer drinks like pina coladas, and while the message you're going for is 'just sit back and relax', it could be misleading as to the type of service one gets on Amtrak.
  • Showing a 'heavy set' person squeezed into an airline seat could be taken as offensive and downright bizarre, and in some ways might indicate that Amtrak is focused on overweight people, as opposed to just accommodating them.

Just my thoughts.


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#53 jis

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 06:29 PM

It is doubly bizarre because airlines actually do serve complementary alcoholic beverages in First Class and Business Class, Amtrak does so only in First Class in one corridor.

 

At the end of the day Amtrak's real competition is the automobile, and planes only in short to medium corridors. Until Amtrak realizes that and act accordingly there will be no redemption. It will be a long time coming before most people would sped 6 days of their short vacation traveling from coast to coast by train rather than doing so in 6 hours each way and getting R&R time at their vacation destination  in the time saved by flying. It is even more galling when it is equal in cost or cheaper to save 2.5 days of your time.


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#54 SarahZ

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 07:13 PM

At the end of the day Amtrak's real competition is the automobile, and planes only in short to medium corridors. Until Amtrak realizes that and act accordingly there will be no redemption.
 
It will be a long time coming before most people would spend 6 days of their short vacation traveling from coast to coast by train rather than doing so in 6 hours each way and getting R&R time at their vacation destination  in the time saved by flying. It is even more galling when it is equal in cost or cheaper to save 2.5 days of your time.

 
Once again for those in the back.
 
I fail to understand why so many people cannot seem to grasp this concept.
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#55 Ryan

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 08:08 PM

Attached File  shes-right-you-9wych9.jpg   35.75KB   6 downloads

 

I don't think dlagrua meant to say that people who fly are animals,


You're new here. He very much means to say that. It's kind of one of this things. We're apparently boot-lickers too, for submitting to violation by the dreaded TSA.
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