Did STB capitulate to Trump and Lenin?

Expediency over principle describes a unanimous vote Jan. 27 by the three Surface Transportation Board (STB) members—Acting Chairman Ann Begeman, a Republican, and Democrats Dan Elliott and Deb Miller.

Begeman named STB Acting Chairman

U.S. Surface Transportation Board Member Ann Begeman on Jan. 25 was named Acting Chairman by President Donald J. Trump. Begeman, a Republican, is currently serving a second, five-year term as an STB Member following her recent nomination by President Barack Obama on Dec. 7, 2016, and her unanimous confirmation by the U.S. Senate on Dec. 9, 2016.

STB’s Begeman confirmed to second term

President Obama on Dec. 7 nominated Ann Begeman to another five-year term on the Surface Transportation Board. She was approved by voice vote in an Executive Session of the Senate Commerce Committee within hours of Obama’s nomination reaching the Committee, and then quickly confirmed by the full Senate on Dec. 9.

GAO pricing study addresses contract vs. tariff rates

The U.S. General Accountability Office (GAO) has released a study, “Freight Rail Pricing,” which suggests that rail shippers are amenable to longer-term contracts but wary of pricing.

Elliott to Congress: Revenue adequacy will have to wait

In a Sept. 1, 2016 monthly progress report letter to the Senate Commerce Committee, House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, Senate and House transportation appropriations committees and all relevant subcommittees, Surface Transportation Board Chairman Dan Elliott said the Board’s pending rulemaking on railroad revenue adequacy will not see further action until June 2017.

STB members to testify August 11 on first STB Reauthorization Act

The Surface Transportation Board announced on August 4th that, at the invitation of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, the three Board Members will testify on the topic of “Freight Rail Reform: Implementation of the Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization Act of 2015” at a full-committee hearing to be held on Thursday, August 11, 2016, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

STB revises SAC case procedural schedule

Railroad rate complaints that come before the Surface Transportation Board for handling under SAC (Stand-Alone Cost) case handling will be subject to “expeditious handling”—a decision rendered in no more than 485 days—according to new final rules the STB announced on March 10, 2016.

STB to post monthly status reports on S.808 implementation

Chairman Daniel R. Elliott on Feb. 2, 2016 announced that the Surface Transportation Board (STB) will be posting monthly status reports of its implementation of S.808, the STB Reauthorization Act of 2015, P.L. 114-110 (2015).

House passes S. 808; next stop: the President

The U.S. House of Representatives on Dec. 10, 2015 passed S. 808, the Surface Transportation Board (STB) Reauthorization Act of 2015, which among other provisions, will increase the number of STB members from three to five, improving STB’s structure and decision-making processes by allowing, with proper disclosure, board members to speak with one another about cases on which the STB is ruling.

House passes H.R. 3819; Boxer stands alone in her corner

The House of Representatives on Oct. 27, 2015 approved H.R. 3819, The Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2015, legislation that funds and extends the authorization for federal highway and transit programs through Nov. 20, but more important, extends the deadline for implementation of Positive Train Control by at least three years. The bill now goes to the Senate, which has two days to consider it—with Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) vehemently opposed.