NARP Is Now RPA

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NARP Is Now RPA

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:08 am

While their Web address and corporate name are unchanged, a few days ago, NARP announced their rebranding to the Rail Passengers Association:

http://www.narprail.org

I never have been and in all likelihood never will be a member of the outfit, so I defer to others who might have some insight regarding "what's going on"?

Apparently their standing as a 501 (c)(3) is unaffected, but why do you chuck a brand name with fifty years standing escapes me.
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Re: NARP Is Now RPA

Postby CHTT1 » Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:44 am

NARP has been advocating for passenger rail for 50 years. Anybody who is involved with passenger rail knows NARP. This change to RPA seems silly and unnecessary. They're throwing away 50 years of good will.
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Re: NARP Is Now RPA

Postby chuchubob » Mon Dec 04, 2017 12:41 pm

Some people confused it with AARP.
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Re: NARP Is Now RPA

Postby Tadman » Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:04 pm

Perhaps the name change signifies a mission or position change. It's a 50yo organization and the face of passenger rail has changed so much since then. Amtrak is looking at an operational break even where once it was a basket case. Corridors are exploding with business where once a train or two at 2 cars/day was normal. Long distance has stabilized after years of roller coaster-ism. Rolling stock has gone from Rainbow basket case to strong procurement of amfleet/superliner to utter dumpster fire science experiment. Funding has gone from mostly fed to strong state support. Ridership has shifted vastly from those that won't travel otherwise and economically disenfranchised to those that prefer the train over NEC shuttle and business travelers. Even the commuter carriers have changed - most have very new rolling stock and vibrant schedules, heck there are probably 10 new commuter carriers since 1970

Given the sea change in the environment around it, NARP cannot keep advocating for whatever they wanted in 1970 or they become irrelevant. The wants and needs of rail passengers are on a different level.
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Re: NARP Is Now RPA

Postby CLamb » Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:12 am

chuchubob wrote:Some people confused it with AARP.


I wonder if more confusion will arise with the new name because it is the same acronym as the Regional Plan Association. The Regional Plan Association website URI is www.rpa.org and is also in the business of transport advocacy.
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Re: NARP Is Now RPA

Postby mtuandrew » Tue Dec 05, 2017 2:28 am

Shades of the newly rebranded HeritageRail Alliance, still accessible at its old address of www.atrrm.org (and itself the merger of ARM and TRAIN.) Association seems to be out and Alliance in.
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Re: NARP Is Now RPA

Postby gokeefe » Sun Dec 10, 2017 1:48 pm

Having recently spoken with Jim Matthews (NARP/RPA Executive Director) and NARP/RPA regional representatives I feel comfortable addressing this.

NARP felt that within Washington they were being lost in the shuffle with a name that was a relatively generic "National Association of ...". For all anyone knew you could just as easily confuse them with the National Association of Regional Planners. That is close to a verbatim explanation as has been told to me directly by them.

There is absolutely no change intended for the organization in terms of its mission and vision generally speaking. I am sure they may "refresh" their strategic statements a little (name change of course) but in general NARP/RPA is very much the same organization. That is not to say that they necessarily will continue to pursue the same goals from the 1970s (or even the 1990s). If anything they are in a period right now where things are very much being re-evaluated given the shifting nature of Amtrak's economics and the incredible growth on many corridors across the country.

If you want to know more ask them directly through their contact information on their website. In the meantime organizations such as TrainRiders Northeast and the Rail Passenger Association will continue to do everything possible to improve passenger rail service using the best possible brand and organizational positioning.
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Re: NARP Is Now RPA

Postby SouthernRailway » Sun Dec 10, 2017 7:14 pm

I've been a NARP member for years.

I don't see the point of the rebranding. Nobody in the passenger rail side of things would have gotten NARP confused with another group.
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Re: NARP Is Now RPA

Postby gokeefe » Sun Dec 10, 2017 7:23 pm

SouthernRailway wrote:I don't see the point of the rebranding. Nobody in the passenger rail side of things would have gotten NARP confused with another group.


You're right. But that's not who they are worried about. There are a lot of groups that can get "lost" in Washington when you're dealing with legislative staff and members that regularly turn over.
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