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MIPRC submits comments to Senate Commerce Committee on PRIIA reauthorization

MIPRC appreciates the U.S. House and Senate’s effort to reauthorize Amtrak funding and the programs of the Federal Railroad Administration. The commission believes that the continued development of a national intercity passenger rail system is a crucial component of our nation’s transportation network and that such a national system is needed to compensate for the ever-worsening problems of highway and aviation congestion.

HR 749, the Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act of 2015, was passed by the House in March. As the Senate Commerce Committee considers the legislation, MIPRC asks that they:

  1. Maintain and Adequately Fund Current Capital Programs
  2. Create a Transportation Trust Fund
  3. Increase Amtrak Authorization and Appropriation Levels
  4. Eliminate NEC Improvement Fund Account / National Network Account (PRRIA Sec. 201)
  5. Extend Letters of Intent for Capital Projects Nationally
  6. Authorize Funding for the Next Generation Equipment Pool Committee and for the Rail Cooperative Research Program
  7. Provide Credit for State Investments in Rail Infrastructure
  8. Strengthen Performance Metrics
  9. Add Clarifying Language to Ensure that States Are Not Required to Become Railroads in Order to Expand Their Passenger Rail Service
  10. Streamline the Approval Process for Railroad Projects, as found in S.769

A copy of the letter that MIPRC sent to Chairman Thune and Ranking Member Nelson can be accessed here.

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