Posted by: loomisisc | January 27, 2010

Biden: ‘Rail travel is more important to America than ever before’

In this month’s issue of Amtrak’s Arrive Magazine, Vice President Joe Biden has written the cover story, Why America Needs Trains. Biden, the Delaware statesman, supports rail travel across the nation and his sentiments echo Oahu’s rail support. Nicknamed ‘Amtrak Joe,’ he recounted riding more than 7,000 round trips on Amtrak throughout his career. With each commute at 110 miles, the Vice President has logged the better part of 1million miles on the nation’s railways. It’s fair to say that the locomotive engine has a place in his heart. He wrote,

“But my support for rail travel goes beyond the emotional connection. With delays at our airports and congestion on our roads becoming increasingly ubiquitous, volatile fuel prices, increased environmental awareness, and a need for transportation links between growing communities, rail travel is more important to America than ever before.

In Honolulu, stalled highway traffic burns away some of the most expensive gasoline from our vehicles and threatens the stability of our atmosphere. The growth of West side communities physically and economically are only inching along at the pace of an H1 commute. Indeed, on Oahu, as in America at large, the need for rail travel is abundant. At Mayor Hannemann’s rail address in October, the video began with a family waking at 4;30am to prepare for their daily commute to school and work, compromising the value of their time together.

Biden began riding the Amtrak shortly after he was sworn in as a Senator. “It was the only way that I could have been a Senator at all,” he wrote. “I had to be able to get home to spend evenings with my two sons after we lost their mother and sister in an auto accident a month earlier.” The safety and reliability of rail mass transit, allowed Biden to fulfill his duties as statesman and also be present in his role as father.

Today, President Obama made his State of the Union address and will travel tomorrow to Florida to speak on the FTA’s high-speed rail plans.

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