Oh, what's this? A nice rah-rah piece on Amtrak, that suck-hole of tax dollars and inept provider of passenger transportation, courtesy the Lafayette Journal-Courier:
Recent spikes in gasoline prices, airport congestion and environmental awareness are among the reasons why Amtrak is reporting record ridership for the 2008 fiscal year that ended Sept. 30.So, since the gasoline prices are now lower than when Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, back in August 2005, ridership will certainly have already begun to tank, if it were such a factor in driving an increase in ridership. I love this quote from a rider:
Nationwide, Amtrak carried 28.7 million people this year, compared to 25.8 million in 2007. That was an 11 percent increase.
Well, poor student, you aren't learning mathematics at Purdue, that's for sure. With gas now around $2/gallon, even if you drive a Hummer or some other beast that gets 10mpg, you can drive from Lafayette to Chicago for $25.20.
"We're students and we're poor," she said with a chuckle, noting the train's comparatively cheap cost.
A round trip ticket between Lafayette and Chicago generally runs between $30 and $50 depending on the days, according to Amtrak's Web site.
126 mi / 10 mpg = 12.6 gal x $2 = $25.20
You're going to be poor for a lifetime if you can't do the math. Amtrak isn't the solution. Oh? Riding for the environment? Ok, then calculate the ride in my Toyota Corolla:
126 mi / 40 mpg = 3.15 gal x $2 = $6.30
Seriously. What kind of stupid do you have to be to lap up what this article is offering?
Update: In response to the astute comment that caught where I didn't (shame on me!) that the Amtrak pricing is based on round trips, and my car pricing is based on a single leg, I decided to shore that up. Doubling my auto prices is the easy part:
252 mi / 10 mpg = 12.6 gal x $2 = $50.40
252 mi / 40 mpg = 3.15 gal x $2 = $12.60
I went to Amtrak's website to see the various prices. Turns out that the article is wrong. One cannot get a $30 round trip fare. It varies pretty significantly depending on the days of departure and arrival.
$36 - Depart Lafayette Nov 19 or 20, Return from Chicago Nov 24
$41 - Depart Lafayette Nov 19 or 20, Return from Chicago Nov 22 or 25
$52 - Depart Lafayette Nov 21, Return from Chicago Nov 23 or 26
$58 - Depart Lafayette Nov 19 or 20, Return from Chicago Nov 22 or 25
$67 - Depart Lafayette Nov 21, Return from Chicago Nov 23 or 26
So, the J-C's range of 'generally between $30 and $50 for a round trip' is misleading. You can't get a fare as low as $30, and most combinations are more than $50.
I guess we're both shoddy journalists, quick to make our points. In any case, my ride in the Corolla is still WAY cheap.