Skip to Content
Streetsblog USA home
Streetsblog USA home
Log In
Streetsblog.net

How TSA Regulations Undermine Amtrak in California

Network blog Systemic Failure ought to write a book about how federal regulations undermine train travel in the U.S. It would be a long one.

false

Today he cites the case of how TSA regulations inhibit California's large Hispanic population from riding Amtrak. Again, the federal transportation safety apparatus gets in the way of actual safety:

Hispanics make up half the population of California’s Central Valley. Los Angeles has 5 million Hispanics (9% of the nation’s population). And 23% of the Bay Area population is Hispanic. So why does Amtrak California struggle to attract Hispanic riders? Hispanic ridership on the San Joaquin service is only 20%.

Larry Miller, who served on the San Joaquin Valley Rail Committee, says there are several reasons. First of all, Amtrak has not done much marketing of its services in Spanish. He notes a recent “Companions Ride Free” promotion that had coupons printed only in English.

But the really big problem is the TSA, and the legally-required ID checks.

This is yet another way that TSA security policies actually make us less safe. By discouraging train travel, it results in more car trips — and more road accidents. Larry Miller hopes that California’s new non-resident driver’s license law will help attract more Hispanic riders. That seems implausible. Travelers afraid of getting deported aren’t going to submit travel plans to a government-run train service. Not when they hear news stories of VIPR and ICE patrols on buses and trains.

Elsewhere on the Network today: Vibrant Bay Area explores "city repair" -- giving neighborhood residents more control over public rights of way. People for Bikes says that California cities and towns could fall far behind other urban areas in America when it comes to building protected bike lanes, because the state DOT, Caltrans, refuses to bring its engineering guidance into the 21st century. And the Bike League explains how bike advocates can begin to win over their local business communities.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog USA

Talking Headways Podcast: Charging Up Transportation

This week, we talk to the great Gabe Klein, executive director of President Biden's Joint Office of Energy and Transportation (and a former Streetsblog board member), about curbside electrification.

April 18, 2024

Why Does the Vision Zero Movement Stop At the Edge of the Road?

U.S. car crash deaths are nearly 10 percent higher if you count collisions that happen just outside the right of way. So why don't off-road deaths get more air time among advocates?

April 18, 2024

Donald Shoup: Here’s a Parking Policy That Works for the People

Free parking has a veneer of equality, but it is unfair. Here's a proposal from America's leading parking academic that could make it more equitable.

April 18, 2024

Thursday’s Headlines Turn Up the Heat

Whether you realize it or not, climate change is here, and not just in the form of natural disasters.

April 18, 2024

Calif. Legislators Tackle AV, School Zone Safety

Are AVs freight trucks ready to be deployed on California roads with no one in them?

April 17, 2024
See all posts