Surface Transportation Reauthorization
With sharply increased appropriations in Fiscal 2018 and Fiscal 2019, 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 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 in 2020
Rail Passengers' Document Library
- Surface Transportation Reauthorization Blueprint - Discussion Draft (September 2019)
- Fiscal Year 2020 Legislative Ask: a summary of the funding requests and main policy recommendations for the upcoming fiscal year (Spring 2019)
- Map of Underinvestment: What does half a century of underinvestment in passenger rail look like? (Spring 2019)
- Rural Mobility: Rural America’s transportation gap profoundly hurts rural Americans. Amtrak connects millions with access to essential public transportation services. (Spring 2019)
- Northeast Corridor's Gateway Project: Outlines critical passenger rail infrastructure investments along the NEC, with a focus on the Gateway Project (Spring 2019)
- State of Good Repair: America needs to be rebuilt and modernized. Investing in our nation’s transportation infrastructure will improve our ability to compete in a global economy. (Spring 2019)
- On-Time Performance: outlines Amtrak's OTP by the numbers, and provides key policy solutions to get the trains running on time again (Spring 2019)
- High-Speed Rail: HSR is a proven mode of transportation that can efficiently move a large number of people quickly along densely developed corridors... but the U.S. is falling behid the rest of the world. (Spring 2019)
Our Vision for the Reauthorization
Outlined in Rail Passengers President & CEO Jim Mathew's open letter to Amtrak Management, we see a future with:
- More Trains: Move aggressively on your new growth vision, 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 regulatorsabout 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!
"The National Association of Railroad Passengers has done yeoman work over the years and in fact if it weren’t for NARP, I'd be surprised if Amtrak were still in possession of as a large a network as they have. So they've done good work, they're very good on the factual case."
Robert Gallamore, Director of Transportation Center at Northwestern University and former Federal Railroad Administration official, Director of Transportation Center at Northwestern University
November 17, 2005, on The Leonard Lopate Show (with guest host Chris Bannon), WNYC New York.