Even for those that are not security nuts, I am sure that everyone has seen at least one of the articles in the press on the newly released report that states that more than 75 percent of the nation’s mass transit systems, to include my personal favorite – the trains – do not meet Department of Homeland Security standards. I applaud the new Secretary for DHS, Janet Napolitano, for her commitment to improving rail and public transit security.
I have said in a number of postings that I fully support all that Amtrak has done to improve security with the funding and resources that they had available. With Secretary Napolitano’s support, and a focus on additional funding, things may truly be safer for this underutilized resource.
The movement of people in our nation’s history has greatly evolved from walking to horseback or horse drawn wagons and then the major advancement with the train. The train could move large numbers of people and produce at minimal cost. We then got cars and trucks, and we lost track of the value of the train.
This country is faced with a renewed commitment to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Our immediate answer is for more fuel-efficient cars. Well let me remind everyone that we already have the technology to move large numbers of people and things on our train system while greatly reducing the consumption of fuel. The problem is that we need more investment in the tracks and equipment that has served the nation for 150 plus years.
I would suggest that we not always try to re-invent the wheel; let’s make a little investment in a proven winner. With our new President’s commitment to infrastructure, lets rally behind something that will help us all and our children’s children for many years to come.
In short maybe instead of bridges to nowhere in past spending efforts, let’s get behind the President and DHS Secretary and build some additional, yet secure, tracks and trains to somewhere for a benefit of new jobs, less foreign oil dependency and an infrastructure asset that all can use.