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Caltrans shilling for Amtrak

2013-02-19 15:46:02.098558+00 by Dan Lyke 4 comments

Caltrans about to spend $9m to get more Amtrak riders. Last time I wanted to ride Amtrak, it turned out I forgot my license ('cause I'd taken it out to buy the stupid ticket online and left it beside my computer) and couldn't.

Based on their dumb-ass ID policy, and a few other annoyances, it's hard for me to get excited about the train unless the benefits way override the other costs, and for the few trips where the train might make sense that isn't terribly obvious.

If Amtrak wants riders, they can be more friendly to them.

[ related topics: Interactive Drama Machinery Trains Handicaps & Disabilities Public Transportation hubris ]

comments in descending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2013-02-24 00:57:05.856505+00 by: concept14

Keeping the riffraff out? Tickets already cost more than the bus; isn't that enough?

#Comment Re: made: 2013-02-20 13:08:15.627581+00 by: DaveP

Amtrak is getting the full TSA treatment. Soon it will be just as pleasant as flying, and yet slower than driving. And more expensive than either.

#Comment Re: made: 2013-02-19 17:35:06.785102+00 by: Dan Lyke

Yeah, on the one hand I can see why they'd want to find some way to affect the demographics of train ridership to make it a little more upscale, I've seen at least one drunk tossed off the train for being pretty damned obnoxious. If you demand identification you keep the low-income people who don't maintain government ID off the train.

On the other hand... it's freakin' absurd.

But really it's a part of a whole bunch of little things about the Amtrak experience that make what should be a pleasant alternative to driving into a hassle that's useful if you want to get somewhere and you have a friend with a car on the other end.

And those things are simple policy changes, not $9m in advertising.

#Comment Re: made: 2013-02-19 17:20:22.99003+00 by: Mars Saxman

WTF, Amtrak has ID checks now!? It's a goddamn *train*, how does that make any sense?

I have these glorious hazy memories of Amtrak as the happy, casual, low-pressure way to travel, but I have to confess I've only ridden it once since the great bullshit catastrophe that resulted from the creation of the DHS. I guess perhaps it was too optimistic to think that they'd kept their greedy paws off the trains.