As Published in the North Carolina Journal of Law & Technology, Volume 22, Issue 4, May 7, 2021
In November of 2020, a known train enthusiast was elected to the Oval Office: President Joe Biden. With this leadership in mind, is the United States finally going to create a healthy and functioning passenger rail system? For years, passenger rail has declined in usage as other modes of transportation, mainly automobiles and airplanes, have become the preeminent movers of people in the United States. However, given the economic and environmental advantages of passenger rail, it can still fill a niche in the transportation market. This Article proposes a number of actions that President Biden can take to improve passenger rail utilization and its quality in the United States. In the short-term, steps must be taken to put Amtrak, the national rail carrier, on the path to sustainability. Following that, the Biden administration must fundamentally alter the way new rail infrastructure projects are funded and planned in order to make the significant long-term improvements required to achieve a passenger rail revolution.
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