Everytime I start thinking that Vermont is 10-15 years behind New Hampshire in everything from education to transportation they do something cool that makes me wonder if New Hampshire isn’t the place that is actually behind.
In this particular case, its $12.00 Amtrak tickets. The link for the information is posted below but it amts. to one way Amtrak tickets on the Vermonter between St. Albans, Vermont and Brattleboro.
Vermont provides an operating subsidy to Amtrak and the Vermonter. I think this $12.00 ticket offer is important because it shows that the policymakers are thinking about issues besides just operating trains. They are thinking about ticket prices. With the continuing love affair Americans have with their cars, including myself ( I drive a 2009 Subaru Legacy) the only way Amtrak has any chance in rural markets like Vermont is through the low ticket price. Vermont policymakers are also considering a strategic move that I’m excited about. This is to move the Amtrak Vermonter from its route on the Connecticut River line to a new alignment from Bellows Falls up through central Vermont on onto the Burlington waterfront to a terminus at Union Station. I think this is a great idea because Burlington would be linked to the rest of the world by passenger rail. Currently, it isn’t Amtrak riders have to board Amtrak trains on the outskirts of Burlington at a place called Essex Junction. And it’s hardly convenient, limited parking, services, etc. Having Amtrak in downtown Burlington would be much better.
Vermont is a small state with less population and financial resources than New Hampshire has and look what they are doing! An effective transportation system, low ticket prices and long-term planning to make their system even better!
And what is happening over here in New Hampshire?
Please don’t count the actions of former Senator Peter Burling as any type of progress for the Granite State. I think he is an embarrassment in every statement he makes. I think Sen. Burling should resign his position on the NH Rail Authority and Governor Lynch should find someone who will follow the transportation model of what Vermont is doing. This would be leadership.
And I'm confident this won't happen.