A new take on the summer road trip

For many folks, summer is the season of travel. That was the case for 20-year-old Elena Studier, who embarked on a cross-country trip in mid-May. However, unlike many folks, Studier completed the entire trek using Amtrak and a bike.

It's clear she had a pretty fun time doing so, based on her blog entries documenting the trip. But the journey wasn't just about leisure; Studier went on the trip as part of her summer internship with the National Association of Railroad Passengers (NARP). The goal?

"The objective was to show that you could leave one end of the country by rail and hit dozens of dozens of really cool places without driving," says NARP Chief Executive Officer Jim Mathews.

In addition, the association wanted to showcase the relationships communities have with public transportation. So, Studier relied on transit to navigate the 20 cities she stopped in. She also met with local elected officials to talk passenger rail and transit.

Late last month, I chatted with Studier and Mathews about the trip. Check out my recent feature to learn more about her journey.

What do you make of her adventure? Have you or any of your friends or family members tried something similar? Does her trip shine a positive light on passenger rail? Why or why not? I'd be curious to hear your thoughts.

 

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