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Surface Transportation Board issues pair of pro-passenger rail rulings
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Surface Transportation Board issues pair of pro-passenger rail rulings

Good news! Last week, the Surface Transportation Board (STB) withdrew a proposal that MIPRC had filed opposition to during the docket’s public comments period, and issued another ruling that MIPRC favors.

The proposal that the STB withdrew had to do with how it would define "preference" within US Code: 49 U.S.C. § 24308 defines Amtrak's legal preference over freight transportation. MIPRC, Amtrak and many other passenger rail submitted comments to the STB stating that the statutory language is clear and does not need clarification. STB’s proposal, only the other hand, could have given freight preference over passenger rail service.

MIPRC’s main critique of the STB’s original proposal for on-time performance, or “OTP,” was that it measured OTP only at route end points, failing to ensure performance for interim station stops. In its ruling yesterday, the STP modified its original proposal to include arrival times at all intermediate stations, not just the final stop, when OTP is measured. The STB’s new ruling rule to define “on time” and specify the formula for calculating “on-time performance” for purposes of Section 213 of the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008, (49 U.S.C. § 24308(f)) goes into effect on August 27.

The STB’s ruling to withdraw its proposal on preference can be accessed here and its ruling on OTP can be accessed here. To access MIPRC’s submitted comments on both issues, please click here.

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