In response to the article on newsweek.com, which can be found at http://www.newsweek.com/id/147648
I would prefer to ride a train to travel short distances if it was faster than driving and financially beneficial. I agree with the article and am glad that train ridership is on the rise, but for me to make the switch from driving a car it needs to be more reasonably priced. Let’s take an example using a popular travel destination for my area.
A train trip from Baltimore, Maryland to Atlantic City, New Jersey would cost me $305 for 2 people round trip. The times specified are fine and I would only have to change trains one time each way. The travel times for this trip are about 3 hours each way for either riding a train or driving a car. The problem is it will not cost me anywhere near $305 to drive. It’s about 300 miles round trip, and at the government mileage rate of 58.5 cents a mile (which I feel is high for a car that gets good MPG) would come out to $175.50. This rate accounts for mileage, fuel, depreciation on the car, etc. If I’d want to look at my immediate out of pocket expenses then it would be even less to drive! Think 306miles/30MPG = 10.2 gallons * $4/gallon = $40.80! The only way it might make sense to take a train if I was traveling alone. The price just about needs to be cut in half to $150 for two round trip ($75/person) from Baltimore to Atlantic City to really attract my attention and change my method of travel for this weekend getaway.