The Rail Customer Coalition has launched a high-visibility media campaign intended to help it achieve railroad regulatory reform.
An advertisement placed in the Washington, DC, political newspaper, Politico, used the opportunity to thank the Senate and its leadership for confirming two much-needed members of the five member Surface Transportation Board so that it could maintain a quorum (AA, 1-15-19, P. 3).
The full-page ad also stressed that rail customers are looking forward to the board grappling with reform issues which have only gained in importance over recent years. The coalition says the ad was only the first in a series that it intends to run in variety of online publications.
The RCC has expressed support for President Trump’s Jan. 17 renomination of Democrat Deb Miller, whose term expired Dec. 31, for another five-year stint, subject to Senate confirmation.
Among the issues on the RCC agenda is reciprocal switching, which would require major railroads to run cars from other railroads on their tracks for appropriate compensation. The STB has been considering the group’s petition for years.
Shippers also remain wary of widespread rail service failures, having experienced two major ones over the past decade. Other concerns revolve around the STB’s mandated role in assessing economic justifications for rail rate increases.
Among the RCC members are major transportation stakeholders and the largest users of freight rail. They account for more than half of the total volume of cargo shipped by rail and generate more than three quarters of rail revenues.