MIPRC 2015 Annual Meeting

MIPRC’s 2015 Annual Meeting took place on September 22-25 in St. Paul, MN.

Meeting Agenda
Meeting Overview

Select presentations from the meeting:

Investing in the Future of Chicago Union Station (Ray Lang, Amtrak)
Evaluation of a Second Daily Passenger Train Between Minnesota and Chicago (Dan Krom, Minnesota DOT)
The Status of Passenger Rail Improvements in the Region and Plans for the Future (DOT representatives from MIPRC states discuss the status of passenger rail projects and planning in their states)
MIPRC’s Federal Priorities
Regional Rail Planning (Kyle Gradinger, FRA)
Amtrak’s Priorities in the Midwest (Ray Lang, Amtrak)


MIPRC 2014 Annual Meeting

The Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission’s held its 2014 Annual Meeting June 11 & 12. The meeting featured a trip on part of Amtrak’s Southwest Chief route (from Chicago to Kansas City), and a full-day meeting in Kansas City’s Union Station.

Click here for the meeting agenda.

During the train ride, commissioners were briefed on the history and status of Amtrak’s long-distance service. They also observed differences between long-distance service (funded at the federal level) and corridor service (less than 750 miles in length and funded by states). In Kansas City, commissioners discussed passenger rail development plans at the state and federal level. Chairs of two committees created at MIPRC’s last annual meeting reported on their plans to help highlight the impact rail suppliers have on our region’s economy and to survey universities located near passenger rail stations. Commissioners also approved:

• a four-point plan to move forward with MIPRC's regional passenger rail education, planning, oversight and advocacy;

• a motion to encourage the Midwest’s Congressional delegation to support the designation of the US Department of Transportation building the James L. Oberstar United States Department of Transportation Building Complex;

• and a letter supporting a strong national network of passenger rail service, including the continuance of long-distance trains as a federal responsibility.

The commission re-elected the officers who had been elected at its October 2013 meeting. During FY 2015 Mr. Tim Hoeffner, director of the Michigan Department of Transportation’s Office of Rail (and Governor Snyder’s designee to the commission) will serve as MIPRC’s chair; Joan Bray, Missouri Gov. Nixon’s designee to the commission, will serve as vice chair; and Kansas Sen. Carolyn McGinn will serve as financial officer.
MIPRC planned to hold its next annual meeting in St. Paul, Minnesota (at the newly renovated St. Paul Union Depot) in the fall of 2015.

Select presentations and handouts from the meeting:

• Amtrak's Long-Distance Trains: Brief History, Benefits, Infrastructure Challenges” (report commissioned by MIPRC)

• The Status of Passenger Rail Improvements in the Region and Plans for the Future (updates from DOT representatives on passenger rail projects and planning in their states)

• Federal Outlook


MIPRC 2013 Annual Meeting

MIPRC's 2013 Annual Meeting was held October 7 & 8 in Chicago. Click here for the agenda.

The meeting brought together MIPRC commissioners, partners and allies from across the Midwest to discuss the progress of passenger rail development in the region and ideas for the future. During the meeting, four new committees were established: one to look at future regional governance needs for passenger rail, another on university partnerships, a third on the economic impact of rail suppliers, and the forth on information exchange.

The commission also elected new officers for one-year terms. During FY 2014, Tim Hoeffner, director of the Michigan Department of Transportation’s Office of Rail (and Governor Snyder’s designee to the commission) will serve as MIPRC’s chair; Joan Bray, Missouri Gov. Nixon’s designee to the commission, will serve as vice chair; and Kansas Sen. Carolyn McGinn will serve as financial officer. Outgoing chair, Illinois Rep. Elaine Nekritz, received special thanks and an award commemorating her service. Rep. Nekritz served as the commission's chair for 4 years; she remains the Illinois House's appointee to MIPRC.

Select presentations and handouts from the meeting:

1. The Status of Passenger Rail Improvements in the Region and Plans for the Future (PPT) (featuring updates from Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin)

2. Methods for State Funding of Passenger Rail Operations (PPT)

3. MIPRC Year in Review, Background on MIPRC & MWRRI (PPT)

4. Federal Update and Outlook  

5. University Connection, Part II (PPT)

6. The Importance of Rail Suppliers to the Midwest's Economy (PPT)


MIPRC Presentation:
Passenger Rail Development in the Midwest

On July 16, 2013, MIPRC Chair, Illinois state Rep. Elaine Nekritz, and Dan Krom, director of the Passenger Rail Office in the Minnesota Department of Transportation, gave a presentation on the Midwest’s passenger rail development plans, progress and legislative issues during the Midwestern Legislative Conference's Annual Meeting in St. Paul, MN. Click here to view a PDF of the PowerPoint presentation.


MIPRC Federal Delegation 2013

On May 22 and 23, 2013, a delegation of seven MIPRC commissioners from six states traveled to Washington, D.C., to talk about importance of federal passenger rail authority and funding to Midwest. MIPRC Director Laura Kliewer and federal consultant David Ewing accompanied the group, which held meetings with top officials from Amtrak and the Federal Railroad Administration, and 62 Midwestern Members of Congress and their staff.

Commissioners told Members of Congress that the Midwest has benefitted substantially from the federal government’s commitment to partnering with the states to provide capital improvements to corridors in our region. States across the country that are planning for faster, more frequent passenger rail service will continue to need the federal government’s partnership. MIPRC strongly supports the federal government developing a partnership with the states for passenger rail similar to programs in place for other modes of transportation.

MIPRC believes economic development nationwide will benefit if transportation is developed as an integrated system of all modes. Passenger rail is generally the best option for transporting people who are traveling between 100 and 600 miles. It is also often the best transportation mode in certain types of weather and under emergency situations. A weak intercity passenger rail “leg” results in congestion, lost travel time and decreased fuel-efficiency. Continual and reliable capital investments are key to the success of all transportation modes – including passenger rail.

Commissioners asked that, as Congress considers reauthorization of both PRIIA and MAP-21, passenger rail be an important component in the development of a truly multi-modal transportation system, with a strong federal-state partnership undergirded by dedicated sources of funding.


MIPRC Presentation:
Passenger Rail Development in the Midwest: Our History and Plans for the Future

On March 25, 2013, MIPRC held a webinar for commissioners and partners on the recent history of passenger rail development in the Midwest, including the work of the Commission and the Midwest Regional Rail Initiative, passenger rail ridership growth and states' progress in building out the region's system, made possible through the federal partnership that started with passage of the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act in 2008. Attendees also received an overview of what's in store for the 113th Congress regarding passenger rail, and heard about plans to ensure that the Midwest's passenger rail planning and advocacy remains strong in the future.

Panelists:
• Illinois Rep. Elaine Nekritz, MIPRC chair (facilitator)
• Mr. Tim Hoeffner, Director, Office of Rail, Michigan DOT and MIPRC vice chair
• Mr. Joe Shacter, Director, Public and Intermodal Transportation, Illinois DOT
• Mr. Eric Curtit, Rail Administrator, Missouri DOT
• Mr. Dan Krom, Director, Passenger Rail Office, Minnesota DOT
• Mr. Mike Riley, Chief, Rail Section Manager, Indiana DOT
• Ms. Laura Kliewer, Director, MIPRC

Issues covered:
1.   History of MIPRC & MWRRI
2.   Ridership growth in Midwest
3.   Federal Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act (PRIIA), Part I
4.   Current action to build out MWRRS
• Michigan
• Illinois
• Minnesota
• Missouri
• Indiana
5.   PRIIA, Part 2: Sections 209 & 305
6.   113th Congress
7.   MIPRC/MWRRI plans for the future


2012 Annual Meeting

MIPRC's 2012 annual meeting took place on June 10-12 in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and included a ride on the first 110 mph passenger rail service outside the Northeast Corridor (currently between the Indiana/Michigan border and Kalamazoo). The meeting's agenda can be accessed here.


MIPRC Webinar: Midwestern States' High Speed Intercity Passenger Rail Development -- Improving Transportation in our Region

On January 6, 2012, MIPRC held a webinar on the progress Midwestern states have made in improving passenger rail in our region. The region benefited from the first-ever substantive partnership between the federal government and states to provide capital investments for passenger rail development, receiving $2.5 billion in High Speed Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) funding. Attendees heard about the Midwest's overall plan for improving the speed and frequency of passenger rail service, and learned what steps Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota and Missouri have taken with the funding they received. They also received an update on federal passenger rail-related legislation. 

You can listen to and watch this informative webinar by clicking here.

Panelists:

  • Illinois Rep. Elaine Nekritz, MIPRC chair (facilitator)
  • Mr. Tim Hoeffner, Administrator, Office of Rail, Michigan DOT and MIPRC vice chair
  • Mr. Joe Shacter, Director, Public and Intermodal Transportation, Illinois DOT
  • Mr. Eric Curtit, Rail Administrator, Missouri DOT
  • Mr. Dan Krom, Director, Passenger Rail Office, Minnesota DOT
  • Mr. Dennis Slimmer, Chief, Bureau of Transportation Planning, Kansas DOT
  • Mr. David Ewing, Federal Relations Consultant, MIPRC
  • Ms. Laura Kliewer, Director, MIPRC

Issues covered:

  • History of Midwestern states’ planning for passenger rail development/why passenger rail development makes sense for the region.
  • Midwestern states’ progress to date through the federal/state partnership made possible through the High Speed Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) and TIGER programs
         • Illinois
         • Missouri
         • Michigan
         • Minnesota
         • Kansas
  • Federal outlook
  • The way forward

2011 Annual Meeting

MIPRC's 2011 annual meeting took place on June 14 & 15 in Washington, D.C. During the June 14 business meeting, commissioners discussed state and federal progress on passenger rail development, reviewed MIPRC’s work over the past year, and held small group discussions on the role of MIPRC commissioners in the success of the group. Officers were elected for the 2012 fiscal year. Illinois Rep. Elaine Nekritz will continue as MIPRC’s chair; Tim Hoeffner -- who is Gov. Snyder’s designee on the commission -- is the commission’s new Vice Chair; and Kansas Rep. Jo Ann Pottorff is the new Financial Officer.

FRA Administrator Joe Szabo was a featured speaker of the June 14 meeting. Administrator Szabo praised the Midwest for its strong plan to “ . . .  connect the 40 largest urban areas in the Midwest with good quality, 110 mph service.” He noted that the Midwest stands to benefit the most from passenger rail development, particularly since most rail suppliers are located in our region, and he pointed to the economic benefits of station development.

On June 15, MIPRC commissioners had a breakfast meeting with Amtrak CEO Joe Boardman and Government Affairs Vice President Joe McHugh. Commissioners then divided into teams to meet with Midwestern Members of Congress and their staff. During the 40+ meetings that day, MIPRC commissioners stressed the importance of a continued strong federal/state partnership for passenger rail development. The text of the letter that was presented is attached.


MIPRC Webinar on State Operating Costs for Passenger Rail

On April 20, 2011, MIPRC held a webinar on passenger rail state operating costs. Attendees learned about the new standardized methodology for establishing and allocating the costs of corridor (less than 750 miles) passenger rail routes and some of the innovative ways states are paying for the operating costs for their corridor service. Now, you can watch and listen to the webinar, too!

Panelists:

  •  Illinois Rep. Elaine Nekritz, MIPRC chair (facilitator)
  • Mr. Max Johnson, Policy and Development, Amtrak
  • Mr. David Kutrosky, Capitol Corridor Joint Power Authority and member, State Working Group on Section 209
  • Ms. Patricia Quinn, Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority and member, State Working Group on Section 209
  • Mrs. Tamara Nicholson, Iowa DOT
  • Ms. Laura Kliewer, MIPRC

Issues covered:

  • History of state support for corridor service
  • Federal legislation requiring development of a uniform methodology for determining and charging of operating and capital costs (Section 209 of the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008)
  • What can states expect for FY 2012 and beyond?
  • State options for funding passenger rail service costs

Additional resources:


Fall 2010 Washington, D.C., Trip

MIPRC delegates traveled to Washington, D.C., on September 22 & 23 to discuss passenger rail progress in the Midwest and the importance of continuing to develop a state-federal partnership. The group met with Federal Railroad Administration Vice Administrator Karen Rae, the Amtrak Board of Directors, and approximately 30 key members of Congress (and their staff) from the Midwest.


2010 Annual Meeting

MIPRC's 2010 annual meeting took place in Chicago on June 24 & 25.  It is an exciting time for passenger rail in our region, and the agenda for the meeting was geared to providing participants with important information on passenger rail developments. Participants also had the opportunity to discuss critical commission activities and directions.

Agenda


2009 Strategic Planning Meeting (St. Paul, Minnesota)

MIPRC held a strategic planning meeting December 7 and 8 in St. Paul, Minnesota, facilitated by the Center for Transportation Studies, during which strategic goals were developed for the next 5 years.


Fall 2009 Meeting (Columbus, Ohio)

Agenda


December 2008 Commission Meeting (Omaha, Nebraska)

Agenda
Overview


June 2008 Commission Meeting (Washington, D.C.)

Agenda
Key Advocacy Points


June 2007 Commission Meeting (Washington, D.C.)

Agenda 
Overview
Key Advocacy Points


November 2006 Commission Meeting (St. Louis, Missouri)

Agenda
Resolution on the Use of Biodiesel in Passenger Trains
Presentation from John Roach consultant for the multimodal station in St. Louis  


June 2006 Commission Meeting (Washington, D.C.)

Agenda
Key Advocacy Points 


November 2005 Commission Meeting (via teleconference)

Agenda 


May 2005 Commission Meeting (Washington, D.C.)

Agenda
Overview and Key Advocacy Points


June 2004 Commission Meeting (Washington, D.C.)

Agenda
Overview
Key Advocacy Points


December 2003 Commission Meeting (via teleconference)

Agenda  


October 2003 Advocacy

Key Advocacy Points 


September 2003 Advocacy

American Passenger Rail Agreement with Signatories*

*In addition to other advocacy efforts in FY 2003 and 2004, MIPRC led an effort that formulated and promoted the American Passenger Rail Agreement a common set of principles for passenger rail development that over 100 groups of state officials, advocacy organizations, unions and corporations advocated at the federal level. 


June 2003 Commission Meeting

Agenda
Key Advocacy Points