As a poor college student, totally vehicle-less, it’s kind of ridiculous to want to go home for the weekend when you don’t have a car, and none of your friends or acquaintances are going in that direction. Moreover, I refuse to pay over $30 for a bus ticket for what should be a two hour drive but will actually take five hours. With Obama’s infrastructure investment plan, he wants to repave roads and remake bridges. With urban areas, the public transportation section will be revamped too. But what about rural areas, like Montana?
A majority of the Montana’s population lives in the southern half of the state. It’s great that Amtrak actually runs through Montana, but if it doesn’t actually go through any major towns, then no one around here can count on it. A significant amount of money goes into Montanans’ budgets just for traveling anywhere. I know I’m not the first to want this.
It’s not my idea – I am reiterating it because I think that it’s important. Building a southern rail line would create new jobs. Think: the train conductors, service on the train, train stations being revamped and decked out and turning into the fanciful things they once were. If the trains were electric, then it would help to green-up Montana. There would be fewer drivers on the roads, fewer accidents caused by ice (and drunk driving). People could get a pass and hop on the train any time they wanted, see the beautiful scenery without worrying about the whole driving aspect.
Here’s my vision: the train route would be from Missoula to Miles City. There would be a major stop in Helena (being that it IS the capital) and from Helena, people could switch to another route from Great Falls down to Butte. It would hit virtually all the places in Montana that have PEOPLE – not just the north.
Anyway, that’s my rant. But more needs to go into it than just dreaming for anything to actually be accomplished.