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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Rep. Ruppersberger introduces commuters' 'Bill of Rights'


Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.) recently introduced the federal "Commuters’ Bill of Rights," which aims to protect the safety and comfort of mass transit passengers.

The bill would require public transit operators to provide food, water, restrooms, ventilation, medical services and critical information to passengers on a disabled train or other form of public transportation; give passengers a time frame for when they will be allowed to exit a disabled or delayed vehicle; provide information about how riders will be redirected to their final destination in a timely manner; and submit an emergency plan to the U.S. Department of Transportation or face a fine.

The legislation also would require that a consumer hotline be established for passenger complaints, Ruppersberger said in a prepared statement.

He introduced the bill after a June 21 incident during which Maryland Area Regional Commuter passengers were stranded on a stalled train for more than two hours with no ventilation and no access to water, said Ruppersberger.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/6/2010