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10/10/2002



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

ASLRRA committee recommends revisions to TEA-21




American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association's (ASLRRA) Legislative Policy Committee (LPC) recently drafted proposals for revising Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), which Congress next year plans to reauthorize for five years, according to ASLRRA's bi-weekly newsletter released Oct. 8.


LPC recommends the act include a short line federal tax credit, enabling small roads to rehabilitate and maintain their lines. The credit — set at about $10,000 per mile, owned or leased — would be capped by mileage but could be spent on any segment, and would be transferable to third parties.


The committee also recommends that Congress increase the flexibility of the Surface Transportation Program, enabling state departments of transportation to consider freight-rail alternatives when making spending decisions on projects addressing local transportation problems.


In addition to its proposals, LPC recommends that ASLRRA support Association of American Railroads' TEA-21 proposals, which include increasing funds for the Section 130 Grade Crossing, and Borders and Corridors programs, making the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program more rail friendly, and providing tax incentives for intermodal investments.


ASLRRA's board plans to consider LPC's proposals in November. In the meantime, LPC expects to continue developing and refining its recommendations.


LPC also plans to study ways ASLRRA could form alliances and build coalitions to strengthen the association's political efforts. LPC recently formed a working committee to address national industry groups, as well as shippers, local governments and public-service agencies.


Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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