Now that the impeachment of President Trump has ended, Congress is expected get back to work on its legislative agenda, which by most accounts has a huge backlog. One of the priorities is developing bipartisan legislation reauthorizing infrastructure funding programs under the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, currently set to expire on Sept. 30, 2020. The OneRail Coalition has released a policy proposal with the organization’s FAST priorities.
Among the key points of the OneRail proposal:
- 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.
Download the proposal:
“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. Rail is vital for our economy, safety and the environment. We look forward to working with Congress to incorporate these policy priorities as part of this crucial Surface Transportation Reauthorization.”