The Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission’s work runs the gamut, from promoting state and regional passenger rail plans and projects to influencing federal policy. See and follow the latest MIPRC news and updates here.


MIPRC asks Congress to include PRIIA Sec. 209 reform in final federal transportation reauthorization bill

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In a July 23 letter to Midwestern members of Congress, the Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission (MIPRC) endorsed the planned $66 billion allocation to rail in the bipartisan infrastructure framework and reaffirmed its strong support for passenger rail policies in both the House (H.R. 3684) and Senate (S. 2016) reauthorization bills, but asked federal lawmakers to include reforming the 13-year-old law requiring states to pay for Amtrak services on routes that 750 miles or shorter.

MIPRC compares House & Senate surface reauthorization rail titles, notes their silence on PRIIA Sec. 209 reform

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As Congress debates and votes on the House’s and Senate’s versions of surface transportation reauthorization, and their inevitable melding in a conference committee, MIPRC has created a side-by-side comparison for reference. The chart shows funding and program authorizations in the INVEST in America Act (H.R. 3684) and the Surface Transportation Reinvestment Act of 2021 (S.2016), and their provisions compared to what MIPRC has asked of Congress in its Surface Transportation Reauthorization principles.

MIPRC's first take on U.S. House's version of transportation reauthorization bill, a.k.a. the INVEST Act

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A transformative investment in passenger rail took the first step toward becoming law this week in Congress when the U.S. House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee's transportation re-authorization bill was considered in committee. The INVEST (Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation) in America Act, introduced on June 4 by Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Chair Peter DeFazio, was marked up by the full Committee on June 9 and passed, by a 38-26  vote, in the early hours of June 10.

MIPRC: Let’s take a comprehensive look at how we want our nation’s passenger rail system to run

Amtrak’s ConnectUS plan is welcome, but doesn’t go far enough; with FAST Act reauthorization, we have an opportunity to to create a truly national network

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As Amtrak proposes to reconfigure the national network, it’s also time to reconfigure the cost-share for these new corridor services. The Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission has been working to preserve and improve our nation’s and region’s passenger rail system for 20 years. Based on our extensive knowledge of and history working with both Amtrak and our state DOTS, MIPRC is offering a proposal for a wide-ranging re-envisioning of Amtrak to ensure the development of the strong, national passenger rail system our country needs.

MIPRC asks Congress to support American Jobs Plan's passenger rail provisions, FAST Act renewal & Amtrak's FY22 grant proposal

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MIPRC is asking Midwestern members of Congress to support the $80 billion passenger rail investment in the proposed American Jobs Plan and strengthen several aspects of federal passenger rail policy and funding when re-authorizing the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, which expires in September. In a May 14 letter emailed to members and their transportation legislative aides, MIPRC also stated its support for Amtrak’s proposed $5.4 billion grant request  for federal fiscal year 2022.

MIPRC adds Sec. 209 reform, regional planning funding requests to its FAST Act renewal principles

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The Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission is seeking regional planning funding and a major revision of the federal law that dictates when states must cover the tab for passenger rail in the latest version of its principles and positions for renewing the FAST (Fixing America’s Surface Transportation) Act.

MIPRC lauds American Jobs Plan's proposed $80 billion for passenger rail

'Equal consideration' sought for states' & Amtrak's plans

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The Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission is asking the Biden administration to give “equal consideration” to states’ passenger rail plans and Amtrak’s as it refines the details of how its proposed $2.7 trillion American Jobs Plan will spend about $80 billion on passenger rail.

UPDATE: MIPRC asks Congress to fund restoration of daily service on Amtrak's long-distance trains

Biden Administration's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill includes $1.5 billion for Amtrak

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UPDATE: The current version of the U.S. House THUD COVID-relief legislation (S. Con Res 5), contains $1.5 billion for Amtrak, specifically $820,388,160 for the Northeast Corridor and $679,611,840 for the National Network.

MIPRC asks Congress to fully fund Amtrak between COVID-19 relief and/or FY 2021 appropriations

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As Congress closes in on a deal for new COVID-19 relief legislation and FY 2021 appropriations, MIPRC is asking Midwestern members to ensure Amtrak gets enough funding between relief and 2021 appropriations to restore daily long-distance service and provide crucial funding for state-supported Amtrak services.

MIPRC asks Midwestern members of Congress to support the 'Moving America Forward' Act's rail title

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MIPRC asked Midwestern members of Congress to support the provisions and authorizations for passenger rail development contained in the TRAIN Act (Division D--Rail) of the House of Representatives’ proposed new five-year surface transportation authorization bill, HR 2, the “Moving Forward Act,” and to support a few important additions. (The bill was approved in the House on July 1 by a 233-188 vote).

MIPRC files comments on FRA's proposed new rule, 'Metrics and Minimum Standards for Intercity Passenger Rail Service'; lauds strong OTP rule

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The Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission supports the on-time performance standards in the Federal Railroad Administration’s proposed new rule Metrics and Minimum Standards for Intercity Passenger Rail Service. In formal comments filed June 1, MIPRC lauded the rule, jointly developed by FRA and Amtrak, agreeing with its main components while offering several suggestions on how particular aspects of the rule can be strengthened.

MIPRC testifies in support of FRA's proposed metrics and standards for intercity passenger rail

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MIPRC Chair Bob Guy offered brief testimony in support of the Federal Railroad Administration’s proposed notice of proposed rulemaking on Metrics and Minimum Standards for Intercity Passenger Rail Service during the agency’s April 30 telephonic public hearing.

MIPRC begins planning effort for infrastructure round of COVID-19 stimulus

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The efforts of MIPRC  and other passenger rail advocates to support Amtrak’s request for $1 billion in emergency funding  for this fiscal year – including money to offset state losses – paid off late last month when Congress passed, and President Trump signed, the latest COVID-19 relief/stimulus bill.

MIPRC asks Congress to provide Amtrak $1 billion in COVID-19 emergency relief

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MIPRC today sent a letter to Midwestern members of Congress in support of Amtrak’s request for $1 billion in emergency funding  for this fiscal year – including $200 million to offset state losses – and include it in the latest COVID-19 relief/stimulus bill currently being negotiated.

Midwest ridership sustaining strong 10-year growth

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Passenger rail ridership in the Midwest maintained strong overall growth over the decade from federal fiscal years 2009 to 2019, according to MIPRC’s annual evaluation of Amtrak data. Ridership on state-supported corridor services rose 14 percent over the 10 years from Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2009 to FFY 2019, while ridership on the region’s long-distance trains rose five percent in the same period.

MIPRC holds Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., to amplify Midwest's voice as FAST Act renewal begins

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The Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission combined its annual meeting and visit to Capitol Hill, in Washington, D.C., this October to amplify the region’s voice as Congress begins discussing renewal of the law that sets federal policy and authorizes spending on surface transportation (the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation [FAST] Act of 2015, which expires in 2020).


More news:

  • News from MIPRC States
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Secretariat services provided by The Council Of State Governments' Midwestern Office.