According to the Brookings Institution's national study on Amtrak ridership:
San Joaquin ridership is up 66 percent over the last 16 years, 11 percent more than the national average.
Modesto's station is seeing 75 percent more passengers over the same period.
Nationally, train transportation is growing faster than that of cars or airplanes.
83 percent of Amtrak tickets are for trips of 400 miles or less.
The unspoken message: If you build trains, they will be used. If folks have an option for getting out of their cars and traffic, many will take it.
How about raising gas taxes to subsidize cleaner, more efficient, more civically responsible transportation?
DENIS LETOURNEAU PAUL