The U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee introduced a bipartisan bill last week that would improve the nation's infrastructure, reduce costs and create accountability and transparency in the passenger rail system.
The legislation, H.R. 749, has been dubbed the Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act (PRRIA) of 2015. The bill was introduced by the Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Schuster (R-Pa.), Committee Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), and Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee Chairman Jeff Dunham (R-Calif.).
Similar legislation introduced in the House last Congress was approved unanimously by the committee.
“Passenger rail has a role to play in our transportation network, but we’ve simply got to do it better,” Shuster said. "This bill focuses on reforms, transparency, and accountability for Amtrak. By compelling Amtrak to operate more like a true business, cutting red tape and opening the door to more private sector resources, we can make some long overdue improvements to passenger rail transportation in the United States.”
Congestion is a major problem with the nation’s transportation infrastructure. Rail systems help provide an alternative to relieving that congestion. Unfortunately, rail infrastructure experiences the most delays and setbacks for improvement. The PRRIA would help address this issue.