Passing the torch: Apply now for Summer by Rail 2 and launch your own adventure!
When I first had the idea for Summer by Rail, I honestly had no idea how big it would ultimately become. Planning out my trip, sitting by myself with a map of the national rail network, it seemed like a much smaller project. But then, I started to meet with the organizers and planners who would help me plan out my itinerary, and it was immediately clear that I was tapping into an incredible amount of energy and optimism about the power of transportation to build a better future.
That's why I'm so excited to share the news that the National Association of Railroad Passengers is sponsoring a second year of Summer by Rail! If you, or anyone you know, wants to get out there and see the U.S. by train, bike, and all all modes in-between this summer, throw your application in the ring.
There are so many more stories to tell, and I can't wait to see them next summer.
THE ULTIMATE SUMMER INTERNSHIP COULD BE YOURS
The National Association of Railroad Passengers is launching year two of our Summer by Rail program, and we're looking for a smart, dedicated young person to spend a month riding, biking, and hiking across a connected America!
During our first Summer by Rail, we sent Elena, a George Washington University student, on a month-long train trip across 15 states and 20 cities. She explored the connections between rail and bikes, ferries, and transit along the way. On her journey across America’s transportation network, she met with mayors and transportation officials, reporters, local cyclists and advocacy groups, and hundreds of fellow travelers.
NARP will be relaunching the Summer by Rail program for Summer 2017—and we want smart, dedicated college students to apply for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
WHERE YOU’LL GO
We’ll be sending you and a bike across the U.S.—but we need you to help us decide where! Amtrak’s intercity rail network connects more than 500 destinations in 46 states. Part of your application will describe which of these cities and destinations you want to explore, and why.
Last year, Elena visited Montana to see firsthand how Amtrak is connecting cyclists to America's national parks. She explored New Orleans, to see how planners are using greenways and street cars to build in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. And she took part in a bike-to-work day in Salt Lake City to see how people-focused transportation is shaping the western U.S.
Now, we want to hear about what parts of America you want to connect with. Are you a political science major? Visit all the state capitols along Amtrak’s network. An outdoors person? Explore the many national parks served by Amtrak trains. A sports fan? Travel to the minor league and major league ballparks on the national network.
We want to educate Americans of all ages about the many multimodal connections that exist across the U.S. This project is a way to harness your creativity in getting the message out.
WHAT YOU’LL DO
We want you to help us share stories about our country's regional diversity, and how people use their local transportation services to work, play, and connect. Millions of American's think that public transportation is only for major metropolitan areas, and we’re looking for someone who’s excited to show how easy it is to travel from coast to coast, explore small town America and the big city, or ride to a national park. During our first year of Summer by Rail, Elena met with Illinois Mayor Koos, who uses intercity rail and transit to connect Normal's businesses to other markets. She cycled with BikeTexas all across the state, stopping in Austin to explore how moovel is using smartphone apps to change how people use transit. Elena met with Mayor Stewart of Anniston, AL, which counts on Amtrak to bring cycling tourists looking to take advantage of the area's spectacular trails.
How will you show these connections? What groups will you talk to? Tell us! You’ll be posting photographs and videos to our Intstagram and Twitter accounts; writing blog entries about the people and officials you meet; and setting up meetings and activities to highlight important trends and developments in transportation. A big part of this internship will be defining an itinerary and scheduling your own meetings, so we’re looking for creative, self-motivated students.
Multimedia applications are encouraged, so break out those cameras and digital recorders to let us see how you view the world!
HOW TO APPLY
The deadline for application is January 31st, 2017. Applicants must be an active college student of at least 18 years of age at time of submission. NARP will establish a shortlist of candidates by February 14th. After additional interviews, NARP will select our Summer by Rail intern by March 14th. Candidates should be able to spend 3-4 weeks traveling as part of this program, with another 6-8 weeks of part-time outreach and planning in advance. NARP can accommodate flexible schedules, however all travel will need to take place between the months of June 2017 through August 2017. To read the full requirements, apply here.