Sometimes, there are people you just know have no business near a train station. At risk of sounding horribly insensitive, homeless people and Islamofascists are among them. The natural human fear of the unknown and the uncertainty of the times do nothing to encourage any kind of travel, let alone rail.
Others probably shouldn't be near a train station because they have no idea how to use Passenger Rail as a mode of transportation. Take the young thing who would rather take a 90-minute cab ride through traffic than a comfortable and fast ride on a CTA EMU to get from the airport (ORD) to Downtown Chicago. Or the businessman who won't even consider a Chicago to Denver trip by rail because he wouldn't know how to get to/from the stations at either end of the trip. We need to educate these people.
We would like to propose a little experiment, something in the nature of a survey, and enlist your help. Ask your local friends and relatives, your associates on business trips, and anyone else you get the chance to ask, the following questions: (Try to get a "yes", "no", or "don't know" answer.)
1. Does your home town/city have Passenger Rail service?
2. Whether or not Question 1 is yes, is the nearest Passenger Rail service Amtrak?
3. Where is the nearest Passenger Rail station to your home?
4. Where is the nearest Passenger Rail station to your workplace?
5. Have you ever (we mean ever) ridden this service?
6. Do you know if it has sleeping accomodations?
7. Do you know if it has food service of any kind?
8. Do you know what you can carry with you if you ride?
9. Do you know how much it costs to ride?
10. If all 9 answers 1-9 are either "no" or "don't know", would you consider riding if you knew the answers to 3 and 4?
Ask as many people as you want and summarize the answers you get in an email to us. We would like to pass the results along to Amtrak and commuter rail agencies. Feel free to republish the questions on your own blog, but it would help if all of the summaries came to us.
We would like to make it happen that everyone has business near a train station. Please help.
© 2006 - C. A. Turek - firstname.lastname@example.org