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The Surface Transportation Board (STB) is seeking public comment on two decisions it issued yesterday involving passenger train on-time performance and preference issues.The board issued a notice of proposed rulemaking that defines "on-time performance" involving cases brought before the board under Section 213 of the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008.Under the section, if the on-time performance of any 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 STB is proposing that a train would be considered "on time" if it arrives at its final terminus no more than five minutes after its scheduled arrival time for each 100 miles the train operated, or 30 minutes after its scheduled arrival time, whichever is less.The STB also has proposed a policy statement that addresses issues that arise, as well as evidence, in complaint proceedings. The statement interprets the statutory preference accorded to Amtrak trains over freight trains, and the phrase "attributable to a . . . failure to provide preference," according to an STB press release. The statement also provides guidance regarding the evidence that may be most useful in proceedings.
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