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Rail Passengers' Mathews Named to STB Advisory Committee

March 28, 2024

For Immediate Release (24-2)

Contact: Madison Butler ([email protected])


Washington, D.C. – The Surface Transportation Board named Rail Passengers Association President & CEO Jim Mathews to a newly created Passenger Rail Advisory Committee, along with 20 others representing a broad range of stakeholders in America’s passenger-rail future.

The PRAC is being chartered to provide information, advice, and recommendations to the STB, which succeeded the Interstate Commerce Commission as the Federal economic regulator for many transportation modes but mostly freight rail.

“I am incredibly honored to have been selected, and even more humbled when I see the caliber of my appointed colleagues,” Mathews said in response to his selection. “This will be a serious and committed group of thoughtful professionals. I look forward to working with them to ensure that passengers’ voices are heard as the STB works to balance the interests of intercity and commuter rail passengers and operators, government entities, freight rail carriers and their customers, railway labor, and the general public.”

The sorts of topics the PRAC will tackle include improving efficiency on passenger rail routes; reducing disputes between passenger rail carriers and freight rail hosts regarding the use of freight rail carrier-owned facilities and infrastructure for passenger service, including passenger on-time performance issues; and improving regulatory processes related to intercity passenger rail to the benefit of the public, the communities served by passenger rail, and the environment.

In 2018, the Rail Passengers Association began calling for the creation of a shared-used corridor advisory committee as part of its legislative agenda during the last surface transportation reauthorization cycle.

The Association today congratulated the Surface Transportation Board for bringing stakeholders together in a meaningful way to realize the truly historic opportunities and game-changing funding in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to build a rail network worthy of the United States.

“This has been a transformative few years in the renaissance of passenger rail in this country, and the Rail Passengers Association was extremely pleased when the Board announced plans to stand up this advisory committee,” Mathews observed. “Rail Passengers has long argued that the existing relationship between Amtrak, the host railroads, and the states has failed to deliver the frequency and dependability needed to attract large numbers of travelers. The current relationship, while it has varied by region and by host, has generally been an unreasonable hurdle to adding new passenger train service onto shared-used corridors.”

The Association believes this kind of committee could develop improved regulatory standards through a collaborative process, with all segments of the rail community working together to establish consensus based on facts and data and fashion mutually satisfactory solutions on shared-use operations. We firmly believe that strong freight rail and passenger rail networks are not only compatible, but requisite. We stand ready to assist in the work of this Committee.


About Rail Passengers Association

The Rail Passengers Association is the oldest and largest national organization serving as a voice for the more than 40 million rail passengers in the U.S. Our mission is to improve and expand conventional intercity and regional passenger train services, support higher speed rail initiatives, increase connectivity among all forms of transportation, and ensure safety for our country's trains and passengers. All of this makes communities safer, more accessible, and more productive, improving the lives of everyone who lives, works, and plays in towns all across America.