Summer by Rail gets in the Fast Lane with Secretary Foxx

I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to write a guest post about my trip on the U.S. Department of Transportation's blog. I've actually traveled to four of the seven finalist cities in the U.S. DOT's Smart Cities Challenge during my Summer by Rail, and it's been amazing to see America's most forward-looking transportation cities in person (Secretary Anthony Foxx heard the final pitches just yesterday). So without further ado:

In May, The National Association of Railroad Passengers sent their intern, college sophomore Elena Studier, on 38-day multimodal road trip across the country by rail, visiting more than 18 cities and 15 states. Studier has chronicled her trip on her blog, “Summer by Rail,” to highlight the 21st Century’s public transportation services in America, and capture how people live and move in different regions of the U.S. With her trip more than half done, Elena shares with Fast Lane readers a glimpse of her trip, the relationship people have with transportation services like rail, subways, buses, and bikes and how these services can connect people from coast to coast.

Hi, I’m Elena! I’m a sophomore in college focusing on transportation and urban environments while working toward my undergraduate degree in International Affairs and Human Geography.

This is my summer by rail.

With my bike, an Amtrak rail-pass, and one overstuffed backpack, I’ve traveled to 16 U.S. cities in the last 25 days, taking every form of ground transportation but a horse and cart (nine cities left so there’s still time!).

Touring cities by bike (light rail, ferry, aerial tram, etc.) has been incredibly fun. But when I pitched the National Association of Railroad Passengers on Summer by Rail, it was about more than a once-in-a-lifetime summer internship. It was about documenting first-hand the connections that exist between transportation systems, and talking to the planners and passengers who shape them.

You can read the rest of the blog on the U.S. DOT's Fast Lane blog. Thanks to Secretary Foxx and his amazing team for supporting my journey!

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