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Federal Railroad Administration Deputy Administrator Amit Bose expressed support for the formation of interstate rail compacts, pointing to the Southern Rail Commission (SRC) as a model organization at the SRC's quarterly meeting last week.
The FRA's support for the formation of such organizations follows the introduction of the Interstate Rail Compacts Advancement Act, which would authorize up to 10 multistate passenger-rail commissions and provide states with matching operating funds of up to $500,000 annually.
The newly formed commissions would be modeled after the SRC’s demonstrated best practices and lessons learned, SRC officials said in a press release.
"The Federal Railroad Administration believes that interstate compacts, recognizing Southern Rail Commission as a great example, deliver results and hold tremendous promise in advancing intercity passenger rail development," Bose said in the release.
U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) last month introduced the Interstate Rail Compacts Advancement Act, a bill that proposes to create multistate passenger-rail commissions to promote regional coordination and sustain a passenger-rail service vision across the nation.