The Surface Transportation Board (STB) will hold a public hearing March 15-16 to consider finalizing a long-pending, shipper instigated rulemaking that could loosen the standard for imposing a competition enhancing Reciprocal Switching remedy created by Congress in 1980. The proceeding is officially known as Ex Parte No. 711 (Sub-No. 1). Its roots date to 2011.
On March 15-16, the Surface Transportation Board, more than a year after emerging from a long period of public-near-silence following the election of Joe Biden as President of the United States, will hold a hearing (STB Ex Parte No. 711, Sub-No. 1) on reciprocal (“forced”) switching, a subject upon which freight railroads and many of their major customers have been deeply divided for a very long time.
The Surface Transportation Board on Jan. 28 issued a decision denying a request from the Association of American Railroads to extend the procedural schedule in Docket No. EP 711 (Sub-No. 1) et al., Reciprocal Switching; regarding the Board’s NPRM (Notice of Proposed Rulemaking) on reciprocal switching regulations. “All procedural dates remain unchanged, including those for the public hearing beginning on March 15, 2022,” STB said.
The Surface Transportation Board On July 27, 2016 proposed new regulations “to improve the availability of reciprocal switching,” an action the railroads have been anticipating for more than a year. The proposed rules “allow a shipper to gain access to another railroad if the shipper makes certain showings,” STB said.