In the lead up to tonight's Vice Presidential debate, CNN ran a report on uncertainty over the status of funding for Amtrak service. With the contest featuring Vice President Joe Biden—a man whose name became synonymous with Amtrak following years of commuting between Congress and his home in Delaware—it's not surprising that passenger trains are receiving this sort of attention.
However, when interviewed by CNN, NARP President Ross Capon was quick to point out that there are fundamental transportation realities that will be faced by whoever is elected President in November.
There's some really basic factors that are driving the love for trains," said Capon. "That is going to be difficult for any candidate to ignore."
Those factors include an average 831,000 passengers per weekday who depend on commuter rail services that use Amtrak-owned infrastructure, dispatching, shared operations, or ride commuter trains operated or maintained by Amtrak under contracts with local or regional agencies. This doesn't touch on the hundreds of rural and small-town communities for which Amtrak is the only transportation alternative to automobile.
You can watch the full interview below.