Dear President-elect Obama:

Dear President-elect Obama:

Clearly, rebuilding the economy and strengthening national security should be top priorities. We voted for you because we are confident you will work on these issues, but also because you have indicated that you will work on America's infrastructure and the environment.

When you have a chance to take a breath and think about rebuilding our infrastructure, we hope your administration will put some effort into improving and expanding America's rail system.

Please select a transportation secretary who can think beyond airplanes and automobiles. Rail offers a less expensive and greener alternative to air travel and is a great means of public transportation. In Europe, rail systems are more extensive than what we have here, and are government-subsidized.

We notice that in the Rogue Valley of Southern Oregon, there are many abandoned train depots and tracks that could be restored and utilized. This is true in other areas of the U.S. as well. And, while no public transportation system is completely free of danger, no one will ever drive a train into the Pentagon.

Respectfully submitted,

Karen Basin and Wendyn Price, Talent