Thursday, February 16, 2017

STB adjusts rail productivity measure, calls public meeting

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STB adjusts rail productivity measure, calls public meeting Photo by Bruce Kelly

The Surface Transportation Board announced that it is adopting a tentative new measure of average change in railroad industry productivity for 2011-15.


The Board in a statement said it adopted 1.020 (2.0 percent per year) as the long-run measure of productivity, an increase of 0.6 percent from the average of the 2010-14 period.

The STB each year calculates any change in railroad industry productivity by comparing year-to-year the average cost of producing a unit of railroad output. It said this year’s calculation was affected by a change in how distances are measured that affected the yearly change in revenue ton-miles – an input to the Board’s calculation of the change in productivity.

Due to what it called the “unique circumstances” of the new adjustment, the STB is holding a public technical conference to solicit comments. Staff from the Office of Economics will provide an overview of this year’s productivity adjustment calculation.

The conference will be held Feb. 28 at 10 a.m. in the agency’s Hearing Room at 395 E Street, S.W., Washington. Those planning to attend are asked to contact the Office of Public Assistance, Governmental Affairs, and Compliance at (202) 245-0238 by 5 p.m. Feb. 24. The conference will also be accessible via live stream on the STB’s website at

Opening comments are due by March 16 and reply comments are due by April 5, 2017.

The STB’s decision in Railroad Cost Recovery Procedures–Productivity Adjustment, EP 290 (Sub-No. 4), may be viewed and downloaded at, under "E-LIBRARY / Decisions & Notices / 02/ 14 / 17".

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