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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

Mica to introduce legislation to end Amtrak 'monopoly'


U.S. Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.), the immediate past chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, announced yesterday that he would introduce legislation to end Amtrak's "sole monopoly over passenger-rail service."

In a speech that continued his longtime criticisms of Amtrak, Mica told the U.S. High Speed Rail Association that his bill wouldn't end Amtrak, but would "allow open competition" to intercity passenger and high-speed rail service, according to a statement issued after his speech.

"Since 1971, Amtrak has run a costly monopoly with Soviet-style operations," said Mica.

He hopes to include his plan in legislation to reauthorize federal rail policy, which Congress is expected to consider later this year, he said.

Mica, who remains a member of the Transportation Committee and is senior member on its rail subcommittee, pledged to work with freight-rail operators on his proposal.