STB Seeking Comment on Passenger OT Rule

The Surface Transportation Board has issued a proposed rule regarding passenger train on-time performance and is seeking public comment on it.

The rule would consider a train to be on time if it arrives at its final terminus no more than five minutes after its scheduled arrival time for each 100 miles that the train operated or 30 minutes after its scheduled arrival time, whichever is less.

The board said it is acting under Section 213 of the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008.

That law states that if the on-time performance of an intercity passenger train averages less than 80 percent for any two consecutive calendar quarters, the STB may launch an investigation or Amtrak and others may file a complaint with the board requesting that it initiate an investigation.

The Board also issued a proposed policy statement that interprets the statutory preference accorded to Amtrak trains over freight trains, and the phrase “attributable to a . . . failure to provide preference.”

The statement also provides guidance regarding the evidence that may be most useful in proceedings.

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