21st Century Transportation

Two stars of the hit show Mad Men teamed up with OSPIRG and the humor website Funny or Die to produce a video, Mad Fast Trains, pitching high-speed rail.


Improving passenger rail is an essential step to keeping commuters and commerce moving in Oregon and throughout the Pacific Northwest. Already, rising gas prices and rush hour traffic are straining Oregon commuters’ pocketbooks, patience and productivity. And with more than a million new residents expected to move to the state over the next twenty years, these problems will only worsen.

Inconvenient schedules and frequent delays prevent most Oregonians from using the Amtrak train between Eugene and Seattle. But state officials estimate that ridership in Oregon would double with only modest improvements to the existing rail service.

A faster, more reliable train would not only give commuters a better choice to get around the Willamette Valley, it could also save taxpayers money. The Oregon Department of Transportation estimates that the projected decrease in highway traffic from faster and more reliable rail service could save Oregon as much as $20 billion in fuel savings, fewer car accidents, and reduced highway maintenance. 

OSPIRG is advising the state on how to fund critical improvements and teaming up with business leaders, local officials, and the public to persuade lawmakers on the merits of improving rail service. 

Issue updates

Media Hit | Transportation

Oregon must relax limits on use of money for road work

This opinion piece by former ODOT Rail Director Claudia Howells examines our broken transportation funding system.

> Keep Reading
Report | OSPIRG Foundation | Transportation

Do Roads Pay for Themselves?

Disproves the common misperception that road building is paid for by user fees, otherwise known as the federal gas tax.

> Keep Reading
Media Hit | Transportation

Northwest Rail Projects Receive Federal Money

Oregon receives almost $2 million in federal funding for our high-speed rail corridor.

> Keep Reading
Media Hit | Transportation

Higher-speed rail: Interstate 5 corridor ideal for a fast track to a better Oregon

Former Salem Mayor Janet Taylor writes an opinion piece for the Oregonian about how improving our rail system in Oregon will help commuters and create jobs.

> Keep Reading
Report | OSPIRG Foundation | Transportation

A Track Record of Success

As America moves toward construction of new high-speed rail networks in regions throughout the country, we have much to learn from experiences abroad. High-speed rail lines have operated for more than 45 years in Japan and for three decades in Europe, providing a wealth of information about what the United States can expect from high-speed rail and how we can receive the greatest possible benefits from our investment.

> Keep Reading


View AllRSS Feed

Consumer Alerts

Join our network and stay up to date on our campaigns, get important consumer updates, and take action on critical issues.
Optional Member Code

Support Us

Your donation supports OSPIRG’s work to stand up for consumers on the issues that matter, especially when powerful interests are blocking progress.