Railway industry worried about President Biden’s order | national news

(Center Square) – Industry experts say an executive order signed by President Joe Biden could allow other operators to use the tracks, reducing competition and increasing costs. There is sex.

Part of Biden’s order last week called for an independent Surface Transportation Board to review what the Association of American Railroads calls a “forced switching” rule.

Railways now quote customers by the amount they have to pay their competitors to get a private car on a track they don’t own to reach their final destination.

According to a statement by the association’s president and CEO, Ian Jeff Jeffreys, “Competition is fierce in the rapidly changing freight market, with nearly three-quarters of US freight transport being non-rail. ”American Railroad. “Because the supply chain is already trying to recover from COVID, this executive order throws an unnecessary wrench on the important role freight railways play in providing the services that American families and businesses rely on every day. . “

According to Biden’s order, there are only seven Class I freight rail companies today, up from 33 in 1980, when the industry was deregulated under the Staggers Rail Act. However, what’s not mentioned in this order is that the rates are also 44% lower than they were 40 years ago.

These seven companies have invested more than $ 700 billion in infrastructure improvements.

Forbes senior associate Roslyn Layton wrote this week that since deregulation the volume of freight moved by rail will double and the cost of the same amount of freight moved by truck will increase by $ 70 billion.

Last fall, hundreds of local and state officials, as well as leaders, signed a letter urging the Surface Transportation Board not to make a forced change.

“Actions that hamper investment in freight railways threaten the economic development and quality of life of our community, cause unemployment in the railway procurement and contract sectors, and reduce safety, efficiency and the productivity of the entire rail network. It affects all railways, large and small, ”the letter said.

It was also signed by eight former U.S. Department of Transportation secretaries from the Democratic and Republican governments.

“STB’s action to impose forced change will cause serious disadvantages for railways for freight providers who depend on taxpayer-funded infrastructure,” added Jeffreys. “”

Railway industry worried about President Biden’s order | national news

Source link Railway industry worried about President Biden’s order | national news

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