The Surface Transportation Board announced today that it will hold a public hearing on April 30, 2009 to examine issues related to the Uniform Railroad Costing System (URCS) used by the Board to determine a railroad's variable costs in a variety of regulatory proceedings.
URCS calculates system-average variable costs for each Class I (the Nation's largest) railroad based on information annually reported to the Board. The Board believes it is time for a review of URCS to determine whether, and to what extent, modifications are needed to account for recent changes in agency procedures, to improve system outputs, and to further the national rail transportation policy set by Congress.
Accordingly, the Board is seeking comments and suggestions on changes to URCS in a variety of areas. The Board has identified 13 specific topics but welcomes comments on other aspects of URCS that require updating.
The Thursday, April 30 public hearing will begin at 9:00 a.m. in the Board's Hearing Room on the 1st Floor of the agency's headquarters at Patriot's Plaza, 395 E Street, S.W., Washington, D.C.
Persons wishing to speak at the hearing should file with the Board a combined written notice of intent to participate with their written testimony, and should identify the party, the proposed speaker, the time requested, and topic(s) to be covered, as soon as possible, but no later than April 23, 2009. Written submissions by interested persons not wishing to appear at the hearing also will be due by April 23. The Board will accept comments responsive to the hearing until May 30, 2009.
The Board's notice announcing the April 30 public hearing was issued to the public today, April 6, 2009, in Review of the Surface Transportation Board's General Costing System, STB Ex Parte No. 431 (Sub-No. 3). The notice will be published in the Federal Register and is available for viewing and downloading on the agency's Web site, at http://www.stb.dot.gov, under "E-LIBRARY" on the home page, then under "Decisions & Notices," beneath the date "04/06/09."
The hearing will be webcast via the agency's site under "Information Center" / "Webcast" / "Live Video" on the home page.