Our schizophrenic relationship with Amtrak


This guy surely loves Amtrak. (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

Chris' smart post on Amtrak delays today prompted a mini-debate that just spilled out of the Wonkpod and onto Twitter, and now we're seeking further input because, well, we run a blog, and that gives us the power to have the Internet arbitrate our every disagreement. Some quick background for you.

Emily: My, Chris, people have a lot to say about your Amtrak story!

Chris: That's because everyone hates Amtrak.

Emily: No they don't. I feel like everyone I know loves Amtrak.

Chris: Really? I don't know anyone who loves Amtrak.

Emily: Clearly, you do not know the people I know.

This is potentially a meta-lesson in the filter bubble (people who talk about urbanism online love Amtrak; people who make data visualizations don't?). Emily was, for the record, right that such people do exist. And they have Amtrak credit cards and dewy Amtrak memories, and they own those old-timey Amtrak posters.

But, as for the question of how rare these people are, help us out:

Disclaimer: Chris wants everyone to know that he, himself, does not hate Amtrak. He just thought other people did.

Emily Badger is a reporter for Wonkblog covering urban policy. She was previously a staff writer at The Atlantic Cities.
Christopher Ingraham is a data journalist focusing primarily on issues of politics, policy and economics. He previously worked at the Brookings Institution and the Pew Research Center.
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