The Millennial Trains Project we told you about last week will be pulling into Chicago this afternoon, capping the group's trip on the California Zephyr route that began last Friday in California. From Chicago the group heads to Pittsburgh then Washington, D.C.
MTP, as insiders like to call it, is a non-profit that leads crowd-funded transcontinental train journeys for young, enterprising people with big ideas. "The train connects millennials to the landscape," says Jessica Straus, the group's media liaison.
The inaugural 10-day journey currently has about 25 participants from all over the country riding from Emeryville (San Fran) to Washington, D.C., with stops in Denver, Omaha, Chicago and Pittsburgh for workshops and on-the-ground inspiration.
"Patrick, our founder, had a sense that our country was very divided," she says, "and something that might help was connect the rising generation to each other and to the country that was so divided. So we're going to many cities to help try to bridge those gaps."
Getting a spot on the train wasn't easy. Participants had to pitch projects that met the ideals of the MTP, focusing on ideas that were new with tangible goals for improving communities. MTP had about 100 participants apply and even built a crowd-funding platform for participants to use to raise money for the trip.
While there's sure to be lots of fun onboard, the MTP is all about connections. "Riding on a train encourages connections among the people who are riding unlike any other form of transportation," Jessica says. "We really wanted to have a space where connections could be formed."
Want to follow the MTP's great adventure? Follow their progress on Twitter @MillennialTrain, using the hashtag #NewFrontiers.