Hey, officials: Take the train, not state cars

Nathaniel Smith in the Inquirer, 1/19/07

I’m surprised not to find mass transit mentioned in the Jan. 19 article “Calling for change, taking ‘free’ cars.”

As someone who commuted daily by Amtrak between Exton or Downingtown and Lancaster for 20 years, I know that state legislators and officials use Amtrak. I remember meeting Carole Rubley (R., Chester) on the train, I often saw Andy Dinniman (now a state senator from Chester County) on the train when he was special assistant to Gov. Robert P. Casey Sr., and there were others. And I’m sure freshman representative Barbara McIlvaine Smith (D., Chester), an ardent defender of the environment, will also take Amtrak on occasion.

In my opinion, the state should give free Amtrak passes to any legislator who asks for one. It won’t work for all, but would for legislators living near the Philadelphia/-Harrisburg-Pittsburgh train line. That would make them good role models, spare our air many tons of CO2 and pollutants, and be a much better use of taxpayers’ money than all those cars!

Nathaniel Smith
West Chester PA

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