Surface Transportation Reauthorization
The FAST Act Surface Transportation Bill expires in 2020, and its replacement could change everything about America's trains. With sharply increased appropriations in Fiscal 2020, Congress is demonstrating a willingness to make sensible investments in the future of mobility in the United States. This reflects the reality that much of the American public is demanding more and better trains. It is in this environment that we’re now preparing for the re-authorization of the American passenger rail system next year.
What Does an Authorizing Act Do?
- Establishes or continues one or more Federal agencies or programs, establishes the terms and conditions under which they operate, authorizes the enactment of appropriations, and specifies how appropriated funds are to be used
- Authorization bills create, modify, and/or extend agencies, programs
- Are limited in duration: the current Surface Transportation Act, which includes policy and appropriations for Amtrak expire September 2020
- Rail Passengers FY2021 Legislative Grant Request [Final]
- Surface Transportation Reauthorization Legislative Asks [Final]
- Amtrak’s Route Accounting System: Fatally Flawed [January 2020]
- Document Library [Archived One-Pagers and Briefing Documents]
- Economic Benefits
- Environmental Benefits
- High-Speed Rail
- National Network & Rural Mobility
- Northeast Corridor & Gateway
- On-Time Performance
Outlined in Rail Passengers President & CEO Jim Mathews' open letter to Amtrak Management, we see a future with:
- More Trains: Move aggressively on a new growth vision for Amtrak, with more frequencies in dense corridors, new rolling stock and modern safety measures, while eliminating, once and for all, the folly of services operating less than daily.
- Better Trains: Fully and enthusiastically embrace a customer-centric view of passenger service, ensuring that trains’ basic services are reliable and sound while improving the experience for each and every traveler.
- Commitment To Infrastructure Investment: Engage creatively and transparently with local communities, state partners, and private industry to find ways to say “Yes” to new service; engage in an open conversation with host railroads and regulators about better, less-contentious approaches to shared-use corridors—while continuing to defend the rights of paying passengers to on-time service by pressing for a private right-of-action to hold host railroads accountable.
We want to hear from you!
Support This Work Directly
We will work to make sure that the voices of train passengers are heard during this upcoming process, but it all costs money. Donate Today to make sure rail passengers are heard!
"It is an honor to be recognized by the Rail Passengers Association for my efforts to strengthen and expand America’s passenger rail. Golden spikes were once used by railroads to mark the completion of important rail projects, so I am truly grateful to receive the Golden Spike Award as a way to mark the end of a career that I’ve spent fighting to invest in our country’s rail system. As Chair of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, it has been my priority to bolster funding for Amtrak, increase and expand routes, look to the future by supporting high-speed projects, and improve safety, culminating in $66 billion in new funding in the Bipartisan infrastructure Law."
Representative Peter DeFazio (OR-04)
March 30, 2022, on receiving the Association's Golden Spike Award for his years of dedication and commitment to passenger rail.