Chew on This

13 Reasons We Need Passenger Rail

  • A modern small automobile with two passengers generates almost 25 times the air pollution, per passenger mile, as a four car commuter train at 35% capacity.
  •  Two sets of commuter rail tracks will handle the passenger traffic of at least six lanes of highway.
  •  The tracks for a commuter train already exist here; those for a light rail system can be laid within existing infrastructure, preserving open space and minimizing land and business condemnation.
  • A new light-rail line costs about a third of a new highway or loop road, and recent developments in track-laying technology can shave 60% to 70% off that cost.
  • Trains are faster, quieter, and smoother than buses. In addition, they avoid traffic jams and most accident scenes.
  • Modern commuter and light-rail trains are built to run forward or backward, eliminating the need for huge turnaround loops.
  • Rail deaths and injuries are almost nothing compared to those in automobiles.
  • Rail cars and locomotives have been known to last up to 100 years with decent maintenance.
  • Railroad tracks are cheaper and easier to maintain than roads and highways.
  • There is no rubber tire disposal problem with trains (a much bigger issue than many people realize).
  • Most skeptical commuters who try trains are converted within a trip or two.
  • Commuter and light rail lines have triggered a boom, revitalizing rundown neighborhoods and buildings in areas where they have been located. Land values in older communities are rising, a dent is being made in suburban sprawl and even some long-abandoned hazardous waste sites are slated for clean-up, having become more attractive to housing, retail, and office developers.
  • Railroad transit is a big part of the “intermodal”– or many modes of transportation–thinking that has become more popular nationally and worldwide every year–not to mention mandated by federal law since 1991.


Oh so you’re one of those bottom line type of people.

Hey, so are we!

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