Biden has been riding the Amtrak since the 1970s.

By Alison Fox and Christine Burroni
Updated January 14, 2021
Advertisement

Joe Biden will no longer be taking the Amtrak to his inauguration citing security concerns.

The decision to not take Biden's favorite mode of transportation to the Jan. 20 ceremony comes after last week's riot at the Capitol has put security around both Washington D.C. and the rest of the country on high alert, CNN reported Wednesday.

The inauguration will see significantly fewer crowds following the deadly incident as well as health concerns due to the coronavirus pandemic. Local leaders, including Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, have advised spectators to stay home.

Biden — once dubbed "Amtrak Joe" — commuted daily on the rail line to and from the capital after his first wife and young daughter died in a car crash in 1972, according to The Associated Press. He estimates he's traveled more than 2.1 million miles of track in his life. 

Four years ago, at the end of the Obama administration, he left Washington, D.C. on an Amtrak on his last day as vice president.

Joe Biden
| Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images

During his campaign, Biden called the train his "favorite means of transportation."

"It's not as fast as a helicopter, but I made a lot of family friends on Amtrak," the President-elect told The AP in September, adding, "That train brought me back to my home base every night... It kept me grounded."

Amtrak has undertaken extensive health and safety efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic, including requiring both employees and customers to wear face masks, equipping trains with onboard filtration systems, partnering with Lysol to use their EPA-approved disinfectant solutions, and allowing customers to see how full trains are when they book.

While Amtrak trains offer a great commuting option (just ask Joe), they can also make for an exciting socially-distanced vacation, especially in the rail line's private rooms -- think in-room toilets and showers and your own private window to watch the world fly by.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.