11/13/2023 (Monday) [PDF Version]
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The Surface Transportation Board today announced that it has provided public notice that it intends to establish a federal advisory committee on passenger rail service, the Passenger Rail Advisory Committee (PRAC or Committee). Once formed, the Committee will provide advice and guidance to the Board on passenger rail service issues and will consist of approximately 18 voting members.
A charter of the Committee will be filed with the Board’s congressional oversight committees at least 15 days following the notice published today. After that filing the Board will issue a decision seeking nominations for individuals to serve on the new committee.
“I am very pleased that the Board is taking this necessary step in creating the PRAC,” said Chairman Martin J. Oberman. “Once we are able to seek nominations and select members for the inaugural committee, the Board looks forward to working with the members to better understand the issues impacting passenger rail and hear their valuable insights. Based on the Board’s very positive experience with our other advisory committees, I fully expect the creation of this new passenger-oriented committee will prove equally valuable to the Board members.”
The PRAC’s voting members will be a balanced representation of individuals knowledgeable in passenger rail transportation, freight rail transportation, commuter rail operations, and transportation public policy. Specific representation is detailed in the full decision.
The PRAC is being established in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, 5 U.S.C. Chapter 10, to help the Board better fulfill its statutory responsibilities in overseeing certain aspects of passenger rail service. The Committee’s activities will include providing information, advice, and recommendations to the Board on issues impacting the development and operation of railroad passenger services, including: improving efficiency on passenger rail routes; reducing disputes between passenger rail carriers and freight rail hosts regarding the use of freight rail carrier-owned facilities and infrastructure for passenger service, including passenger on-time performance issues; and improving regulatory processes related to intercity passenger rail to the benefit of the public, the communities served by passenger rail, and the environment. The Committee’s meetings will be open to the public.
The Board’s decision in Establishment of the Passenger Rail Advisory Committee, Docket No. EP 774, may be viewed and downloaded here. The webpage for the Passenger Rail Advisory Committee may be viewed here.