STB Eyes Alternatives to URCS (UPDATED May 25)

The Surface Transportation Board (STB) in October 2022 sought public comment on a new report that identifies and evaluates alternatives to the Uniform Railroad Costing System (URCS) that could be used as a replacement general-purpose costing methodology. The Association of American Railroads (AAR) and the Western Coal Traffic League (WCTL) respond.


STB Chided on Rail Revenue Constraint

When Congress partially deregulated railroad rates and practices in 1980 (Staggers Rail Act), it instructed regulators to consider revenue adequacy in determining the reasonableness of rail rates charged captive shippers—those lacking effective transportation alternatives to rail. More than four decades later, neither the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) nor its Surface Transportation Board (STB) successor have promulgated the intended regulatory rules.


Fifty shades of shipper vexation

The 50 shades of vexation venting from self-described captive shippers over delay by the Surface Transportation Board (STB) in considering their petitions to dilute rail regulatory freedoms is matched only by their asserting last year a contradictory 50 shades of encouragement that the Board do just that.