- On March 31, 2020
By: Michael Barron
The Federal Railroad Administration (“FRA”) has issued a Notice of Proposed Rule-making (NPRM), proposing metrics and minimum standards for measuring the performance and service quality of intercity passenger train operations. Comments to the proposed rule must be received before or by June 1, 2020. This NPRM relates to sections 207 and 213 of the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 (PRIIA).
Section 207 requires the FRA and Amtrak to act jointly, in consultation with the Surface Transportation Board (“STB”), to develop new or improved metrics and minimum standards to measure the performance and service quality of intercity passenger train operations. Section 207 also provides that the FRA must collect the necessary data and publish a quarterly report on cost recovery, on-time performance and minutes of delay, ridership, on-board services, stations, facilities, and equipment. Finally, Section 207 provides that Amtrak and its host rail carriers will incorporate the metrics and standards into their access and service agreements.
Section 213 allows the STB to initiate an investigation if the on-time performance of any intercity passenger train averages less than 80% for any 2 consecutive calendar quarters, or the service quality fails to meet the standards set forth in Sections 207 for the same amount of time. Section 213 also allows the STB to initiate an investigation if a complaint is filed by Amtrak or any affiliates of Amtrak and gives the STB authority to identify reasonable measures and make recommendations to improve the service, quality, on-time performance of the train and to award damages and prescribe other relief.
The Federal Railroad Administration’s publication of this proposed rule is attached here. Contact Michael Barron at Fletcher and Sippel if you have any questions.