The Office of Public Assistance, Governmental Affairs, and Compliance (OPAGAC) serves as the STB’s primary contact point with the public. The office interacts with members of Congress, executive agencies, state and local governments, news media, stakeholders, and other interested persons to provide information and informal guidance as to the STB’s procedures, regulations, and actions. OPAGAC also serves as the agency’s compliance arm, overseeing the actions of transportation carriers subject to the agency’s jurisdiction to ensure that these carriers are operating in compliance with their statutory responsibilities.
OPAGAC houses the STB’s Rail Customer and Public Assistance (RCPA) program. Initiated in 2000, RCPA provides an informal venue for the private-sector resolution of shipper-railroad disputes, and also assists Board stakeholders seeking guidance in complying with Board decisions and regulations. At no cost to parties, RCPA staff facilitates communication among the various segments of the rail-transportation industry, and encourages solutions to railroad operational and service issues without the use of litigation or the Board’s formal processes.
RCPA can also help parties needing information about areas in which the STB regulates. Office staff members are thoroughly knowledgeable about the STB and its processes, as well as the operational components of the rail industry. They are available to answer questions about the STB’s official decisions, pending cases, and the laws that the agency implements. Please note, however, that OPAGAC does not provide opinions about how the STB Members will vote on a particular case, or when a case will be decided.