Bipartisan Passenger Rail Reform Bill Introduced

Transportation and Infrastructure Committee leaders today introduced bipartisan legislation that improves the infrastructure, reduces costs, creates greater accountability and transparency, leverages private sector resources, and accelerates project delivery for Amtrak and the Nation’s passenger rail transportation system. View the full press release here.

Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act of 2015 Highlights

Reforms Amtrak to Increase Transparency, Reduce Costs, and Operate More Like a Business

  • Eliminates Amtrak’s losses in food and beverage service
  • Mandates Amtrak carry out a business case analysis for all major procurements
  • Eliminates Amtrak’s black-box accounting and requires transparent bookkeeping aligned with core service functions

Leverages Resources and Encourages Non-Federal Participation

  • Creates station development opportunities for the private sector
  • Opens new revenue streams through right-of-way development
  • Unlocks an underutilized federal railroad loan program
  • Assists with advancing large infrastructure projects through partnerships with states

Targets Investments Where There is the Greatest Potential for Success

  • Improves management of the Northeast Corridor
  • Incentivizes increased Northeast Corridor investments

Empowers States to Have a Greater Role in Managing Routes

  • Ensures states are equal partners, giving them a greater say in decision making to ensure passengers get the best service
  • Strengthens transparency to give states and Congress greater insight into Amtrak’s accounting to identify areas for improvement
  • Requires Amtrak to evaluate long-distance routes, improve services, and lower costs

Streamlines Environmental Reviews and Accelerates Project Delivery

  • Sets hard deadlines to reasonably limit review times
  • Requires reviews to occur concurrently rather than consecutively
  • Improves coordination among federal, state, and local agencies involved in the reviews