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Editorial: No-ride list for Amtrak a bad idea

(The following editorial appeared on the Free Lance-Star website on May 15, 2011.)

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. — Amtrak last month hit a new high in ridership: 2.7 million passen- gers, up nearly 10 percent from April 2010. On the busy Washington-Boston Northeast Regional service, the increase was 13.3 percent, and Acela trains carried 2.9 percent more passengers. That's good news! Now, how can some politician mess this up?

New York Democrat Sen. Chuck Schumer has an idea: He thinks rail carriers ought to increase security in light of the revelation that al-Qaida was considering an attack on the U.S. train system. Mr. Schumer wants Amtrak to screen passengers with the same no-fly list used by airlines. And that could be just the beginning of security enhancements "necessitated" by vague threats and potentialities. Never waste a crisis, right?

Taking the train, especially in the Northeast Corridor, is a joy compared to the frustrations these days of air travel, with its security lines, "enhanced pat-downs," and joyless screeners. Mr. Schumer's suggestion is much like locking your daughter in a tower--she may be "safe," but she won't be living.

Full editorial: Free Lance-Star

Monday, May 16, 2011

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