Group Advocates for Regional Rail

A new group, Charlottesville Citizens for Better Rail Alternatives, has been formed by former City Councilor Meredith Richards and district CTB representative Butch Davies, to advocate for extending Virginia Railway Express service to Charlottesville. VRE currently runs from Washington to Manassas; the group wants it to continue on to Culpeper and Orange before terminating in C’ville.

John Yellig has the skinny in today’s Progress and Hawes Spencer has coverage in this week’s Hook.

3 thoughts on “Group Advocates for Regional Rail”

  1. I would like to point out the importance of this, given budget constraints the threaten our current Amtrak service in Charlottesville. From a Washington Post article this week, the proposed budget would permit only $30 per passenger subsidy. I’m told by another person on the c’ville rail list that we exceed this, but I haven’t personally verified the info.

    Another person on the mailing list confirmed that Representative Goode is in support of renewing Amtrak funding. It might be advisable for rail-friendly folks to write a short note to encourage Goode to keep this stance, as well as to push for extending the VRE to Charlottesville.

  2. I’m really torn on the Amtrak funding. On one hand, I’m not a fan of corporate welfare. Every few years, we bail out Amtrak to the tune of bajillions of dollars, and I don’t like it anymore than bailing out any other businesses. OTOH, I am a fan of mass transit, and I do enjoy riding Amtrak.

    I’d like to see a modification to this: they shouldn’t be bailouts, they should be investments. Every time we do it, we should get another chunk of Amtrak. After a decade or two, the company would be publicly owned, and then we’d be investing in our own infrastructure, instead of throwing our money away.

  3. I would _love_ to see the VRE extended and regular service to the DC Metro area extended to C’ville. I guess that would be one fantastic consequence of Richmond’s unwillingness to invest in much of anything, including transportation. At some point the road network will be so thoroughly inadequate for the NoVa population explosion that rail service would become much more practical. Mass transit really does require density in order to generate sustainable ridership. It also requires fairly comprehensive service/coverage.

    It seems to me that even if Amtrak does pull out of C’ville, it’s only a matter of time before the VRE is extended to Warrenton, then Culpepper, and it seems a no-brainer on down through Orange and onto C’ville.

    Seems to me the rail infrastructure, right-of-ways, etc. are already where we need ’em.

    One can always dream…

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