All Aboard

Speaking of Amtrak, it appears the Democrats' VP candidate, Joe Biden, is a daily commuter and big supporter of our country's passenger rail system. Given rising gas prices and all the problems with the airline industry, it really makes sense for us to fund and promote passenger rail much more than we have the last few decades. Amtrak should be a sterling alternative to the airlines for trips under 500 miles, especially because, unlike most airports, trains take you directly into the center of the region.

I grew up in a small town about 20 miles north of Milwaukee, and I always say that, were I in Italy, I would have been able to take a train back home during college and my years in Milwaukee afterwards. And Italy is a much poorer country than the United States. When it comes to transport, we truly do live in a third world country.

As a bonus, better funding and promotion of passenger rail would help Oakland. San Francisco has no direct Amtrak service, it is only through shuttles from the East Bay that passengers can get there. So any increases in the service and performance of Amtrak would directly benefit Oakland, since for Amtrak, it is the center of the region.

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