State Legislators/Governor of PA: "Save Our Train" Amtrak Pennsylvanian Line Harrisburg to Pittsburgh
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On March 21st Governor Tom Corbett and Amtrak came up with a funding agreement in support of the Amtrak Pennsylvanian Line and have sent the Transportation Funding Package to the State Legislature. The State Legislature now has to approve the final package in-order to secure the funding for the Amtrak Line and to have it fully saved. Now More than ever we have the need to let our legislators know that this package must pass and that it is vital to travel in the state and the surrounding states.
The Pittsburgh to Harrisburg Corridor of Amtrak’s Pennsylvanian Line is vital to travel in the Commonwealth as it offers an alternative way to get from the eastern half of the state to the western half of the state and vice versa (Pittsburgh to Philadelphia) without having to endure the stress of driving a car or flying.
It spans across a section of the state that has little to no regional transportation services other than the train (none more evident than Huntingdon County which has no other transportation services) and provides a way for citizens to get away from the everyday life in their hometowns and explore and see new and exciting things and places that otherwise they never would get to.
Per an Amtrak news release on October 10, 2012 the Pennsylvanian Route (New York – Pittsburgh) was up 2.2 percent to more than 212,000 riders while ridership on the Keystone Service (New York – Harrisburg) was up 5.8 percent to a new record of more than 1.4 million. Ticket Sales were up 4.8% on the Pennsylvanian route while ticket sales on the Keystone route skyrocketed up 12.3%. Numbers do not lie and this only validates that people are using this route and we need to find a way to save it and not lose it for good.
Shutting down the Harrisburg to Pittsburgh Corridor of the Amtrak Line would not only have detrimental effect on travel in Pennsylvania but would also affect the Midwest (Like Chicago) and citizens trying to access major Atlantic Coastal cities like Philadelphia, DC, and New York City in both directions as the Chicago Amtrak Line goes through the Pittsburgh Station. We need to look at the broadened picture and not just the state of Pennsylvania in this matter. Yes it may cost $3.8 Million to keep it operational but the pros far outweigh and cons in this matter as we can tell just by looking at the recent Amtrak study as almost every line set new high records for riders and revenue last year (http://www.amtrak.com/ccurl/636/294/Amtrak-Sets-New-Ridership-Record-FY2012-ATK-12-092.pdf).
I ask you to take a moment to consider joining me in getting the citizens of this great commonwealth’s voices heard on this meaningful subject that will adversely affect millions if we sit back and do not act and take charge.
I thank you in advance for you time and consideration of this pressing issue.
Jeffrey C. Mason
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