FRA Proposes Amtrak Intercity Passenger Trains Rule

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that will measure the performance and service quality of Amtrak intercity passenger train operations. The proposed rule would also set forth on average a minimum on-time performance standard of 80 percent, financial performance and customer service metrics. This will offer Amtrak, its service providers, FRA and others a common tool to help objectively gauge intercity passenger train travel.

“Eighty percent is a minimum standard,” said FRA Administrator Ronald L. Batory. “We expect many routes will be much more reliable. Clarity should help all parties ensure compliance.”

“After extensive stakeholder consultation, FRA is proposing new metrics to promote transparency for railroads and travelers alike,” added Batory. “We expect that all parties are interested in achieving higher performance.”

FRA and Amtrak consulted with many stakeholders on the proposed rule, including each of the Class I railroads that host Amtrak trains, states, Amtrak employee labor organizations, an advocacy group representing Amtrak passengers, and the Surface Transportation Board.

The NPRM will be published in the Federal Register in the near future, with written public comments to be submitted on or before 60 days from the date of the publication.