A recent survey found that a bipartisan majority of registered voters – 75% — favor President Biden’s recent actions that were aimed at promoting greater freight rail competition.
The survey was conducted by the Rail Customer Coalition, which represents the interests of those companies who are dependent on railroad services.
Under a Biden executive order, the Surface Transportation Board has launched an examination of rail rates and demurrage and other fees, and may permit reciprocal switching, which allows a railroad to run trains over another railroad’s tracks.
More than two-thirds of voters surveyed (68%) said the executive order is important to address the lack of competitive transportation options.
“The current supply chain issues have highlighted the importance of a reliable and efficient transportation system,” said Chet Thompson, president of the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers.
“With so many of the products we depend on every day reliant on rail, we need a competitive rail sector,” he added. ”More competition fosters innovation, builds resilience, and improves service, which can result in savings for all of us – from the companies using rail to ship their goods to the consumers who ultimately purchase those goods and bring them into their homes.”
Chris Jahn, president of the American Chemistry Council, also commented, “In addition to being a popular idea with Americans across the political spectrum, promoting competition is the cornerstone of a dynamic economy. As our nation’s transportation challenges grow and concerns about rising costs mount, competition can help by driving innovation and efficiencies within the freight rail industry.”