WASHINGTON, DC, February 6, 2020 – The OneRail Coalition has released a policy proposal with the organization‘s priorities for Surface Transportation Reauthorization. The OneRail proposal was announced as Congress is developing legislation reauthorizing infrastructure funding programs under the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, currently set to expire on September 30, 2020.
“OneRail’s diverse group of rail industry stakeholders is united in support of these important policy principles,” said OneRail Director Anne Canby. “Moving more freight and people by rail reduces highway congestion, improves safety and benefits the environment. Legislation reauthorizing infrastructure funding programs should rightly recognize rail as part of the solution to our nation’s infrastructure crisis.”
Among the key points of the OneRail proposal are:
- Modal Equity: Restore the user fee model for the Highway Trust Fund (HTF); provide passenger rail with predictable, long-term funding; oppose changes to federal truck size or weight caps; ensure rail and transit projects get consistent treatment
- Safety: Improve grade crossing safety; spur Positive Train Control (PTC) implementation and operation
- Jobs: Support the U.S. rail workforce
- Financing Tools: Make the 45G Tax Credit permanent; improve rail financing tools
- Project Delivery & Permitting: Fast track rail projects
- Research & Technology: Advance rail research and technology through investing in rail research, safety, technology, and multimodal connectivity.
The OneRail proposal also recommends significant funding levels for rail-related programs in safety, rail grant programs, Amtrak, and multimodal grants and research, Canby said.
“Rail is vital for our economy, safety and the environment,” stated Canby. “We look forward to working with Congress to incorporate these policy priorities as part of this crucial Surface Transportation Reauthorization.”
OneRail is a diverse group of stakeholders who have come together to educate America about the benefits of a strong freight and passenger rail system. Learn more at www.onerail.org; follow OneRail on Facebook and Twitter, and join the LinkedIn group.