Amtrak Releases New Proposed Map After Biden’s Infrastructure Speech.
In Pittsburgh on Wednesday, the president unveiled his new $2.5 trillion “infrastructure” plan which, as Katie explained, has little to do with physical infrastructure at all. Most of the money is reportedly saved to fight climate change and social justice projects.
And Amtrak wants in. Amtrak, President Biden’s famously favorite mode of transportation, is now seeking to take advantage of the president’s new infrastructure spending. They are asking for Congress to pave the way to help them carry 52 million passengers a year by 2035. They also released their proposed map, which includes new routes to their schedules. Some rather long routes.
Some commuters were confused by the new routes while others were downright harsh. As social media users explained quite colorfully, those Amtrak trains are not exactly up to speed. Getting on an Amtrak train, they argue, is about the worst thing you could do if you’re in a rush to get to your destination. You can pretty much plan on looking out the window all day.
Others asked why Europe is miles ahead of us when it comes to transportation.
Biden used to take Amtrak back and forth from Washington, D.C. to his home in Wilmington, Delaware to see his kids. He reportedly rode it every day for 36 years, earning him the nickname “Amtrak Joe.” The Wilmington Amtrak station was named after him. He even bought an Amtrak ticket home after he announced his presidential campaign.
RELATED STORY: ‘Here’s Why American Passenger Trains are so Bad’ – The dismal failure of US passenger rail is in large part the flip side of the success of US freight rail. America’s railroads ship a dramatically larger share of total goods than their European peers. And this is no coincidence. Outside of the Northeast Corridor, the railroad infrastructure is generally owned by freight companies — Amtrak is just piggybacking on the spare capacity. That means the technology isn’t optimized for passenger rail needs. It also means passenger train scheduling needs to take a back seat to freight priorities. It literally must pull onto side tracks and let freight trains pass.