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4/16/2003



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Rail, shipper council releases TEA-21 recommendations


The Railroad-Shipper Transportation Advisory Council (RSTAC) recently released three white papers addressing policy issues the council believes should be adopted in Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) reauthorization legislation.


Issues include rail infrastructure inadequacies, the absence of a coordinated national transportation policy and public interest in preserving the rail network's economic viability.


RSTAC is urging Congress to adopt language that would permit metropolitan planning organizations and state departments of transportation to finance freight projects, and broaden Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Program funding for freight-rail improvements.


If the council's recommendations are enacted, the public and rail industry would benefit from reduced congestion, more economic development, improved air quality, better fuel efficiency, a safer transportation system, and preservation of competitive rail service for small, rural shippers and railroads, RSTAC said.


In 1995, the 15-member council — which addresses issues affecting large and small railroads, and shippers — was formed by Surface Transportation Board.


Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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