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Weekly Newsletter: Change begins with you

November 03, 2014


Last week Amtrak released its ridership numbers for the Midwest - and they landed with a thud. The rash of delays we see in the papers every week – and too often experience firsthand – caused a decline in ridership. 

The Northeast Corridor had a different story. With the fastest, most reliable service in the country more people chose the train there than ever before.

Investments made all the difference. The Northeast Corridor – like so much of America’s transportation – is underfunded. But, unlike the Midwest, Congress appropriated enough money to make the service usable and competitive with other modes.

Unfortunately for the Midwest, our elected leaders haven’t looked overseas, where good public transportation is a fact of life. Nor have they listened to us; a recent poll showed Americans preferred investments in public transportation over new highways.

It’s time we made ourselves heard. Tomorrow’s election is a huge opportunity to show how critical transportation reform is. So, join me and vote if you haven’t already. A single election can leave an impact that’s felt for decades.

But our work doesn’t end there. Take five minutes to have a conversation with a friend. Or forward this newsletter to an acquaintance. Or make a donation today so we can educate more elected leaders.

Transportation reform is necessary, and it begins at the grassroots level. That means with you and me. Can you help us spread the word so we can celebrate excellent train service sooner?

Thank you for all you do,Julius Parod
Manager of Communications

PS: Send me an email and tell me what you did to bring us a step closer to high-speed rail. I’d love to hear how you’re making a difference. I’ll share the best responses in next week’s newsletter and on MHSRA’s Facebook and Twitter pages (with your consent of course).

Last Week at MHSRA:

MHSRA testified at MDOT’s public hearing for the Chicago-Detroit/Pontiac Corridor. Executive Director Rick Harnish called for a more aggressive approach to the project. The corridor needs faster, more frequent service to meet growing demand.

Articles We Enjoyed:

Amtrak zeroing in on train delays, cites Chicago-to-Cleveland sluggish service.
The article examines how critical the tracks east of Chicago are to so many lines. Another reason to weigh in on the Chicago-Detroit corridor planning process, which is working on this problem.

Moving Forward with America’s High-Speed Rail Projects
“A status report on proposed lines in California, Texas, and the Northeast.”

David Cameron: I am passionate about high speed rail
High-speed rail doesn’t need to be political. The UK’s Prime Minister, known for promoting fiscal austerity, is willing to invest in the connections his country needs.

Iowa leaving $53 million for Amtrak service sitting on the track
Another state throwing away money for political points. Ordinary citizens are always the victims when this happens.

A Writing Retreat by Rail, From Paris to the Cote Azur
A great description of what (high-speed) train travel can be.

Upcoming Events:

November 4th (TOMORROW)– Join us at Maggiano's for lunch in downtown Chicago! This is the last chance to network and hear from Phil Washington, the new APTA chair.

November 17th - TMACOG Passenger Rail Forum in Toledo, OH. A panel of transportation and public policy experts will present news and outline trends.

November 18th – CREATE: Freight Driving the Economy hosted by MPC in Chicago. Speakers will include Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and IL Rep. Elaine Nekritz.

Novembert 21st - Terminal Town Banquet at Maggiano's in downtown Chicago. Depaul University's Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development is raising awareness of Chicago's extraordinary role as a center of U.S. passenger transportation.

Change begins with you. Help reform transportation with a donation of $15 or more today.

Julius Parod
Midwest High Speed Rail Association
4765 N. Lincoln Ave.
Chicago, IL 60625
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