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Modernizing freight rail regulation

Author: National Research Council (U.S.). Committee for a Study of Freight Rail Transportation and Regulation,; National Research Council (U.S.). Transportation Research Board,
Publisher: Washington, D.C. : Transportation Research Board, 2015. ©2015
Series: Special report (National Research Council (U.S.). Transportation Research Board), 318.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"TRB Special Report 318: Modernizing Freight Rail Regulation examines the future role of the Surface Transportation Board (STB) in overseeing and regulating the service levels and rate offerings of railroads. This congressionally-requested report recommends approaches to resynchronize a regulatory program that has become outdated. The U.S. freight railroad industry has modernized and has become financially stable  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
Additional Physical Format: Print version:
Modernizing freight rail regulation.
Washington, D.C. : Transportation Research Board, 2015
(DLC) 2015023365
(OCoLC)913711912
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: National Research Council (U.S.). Committee for a Study of Freight Rail Transportation and Regulation,; National Research Council (U.S.). Transportation Research Board,
OCLC Number: 922657160
Description: 1 online resource (xii, 264 pages) : illustrations
Contents: Study background, charge, and approach --
Historical and policy context --
Persistent concerns and regulatory challenges --
Study charge and approach --
Content and organization of report --
Recent rate trends and service and capacity issues --
Recent rate trends --
Service quality issues --
Concerns about long-term capacity constraints --
Chapter summary --
Review of the rate relief process --
Historical context and links to revenue adequacy --
Variable cost formula --
Market dominance inquiries --
Rate reasonableness standards --
Summary assessment of rate relief procedures --
Rate arbitration in Canada --
Competitive rate benchmarking to identify unusually high rates --
Review of other regulatory provisions --
Common carrier service obligation --
Annual revenue adequacy determination --
Merger review according to a public interest standard --
Authority to order reciprocal switching --
Chapter summary --
Summary assessment and recommendations --
Study context --
Review of rates, service, and capacity issues --
Findings from a review of rail regulation --
Recommendations for regulatory change.
Series Title: Special report (National Research Council (U.S.). Transportation Research Board), 318.
Responsibility: Committee for a Study of Freight Rail Transportation and Regulation, Transportation Research Board of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

Abstract:

"TRB Special Report 318: Modernizing Freight Rail Regulation examines the future role of the Surface Transportation Board (STB) in overseeing and regulating the service levels and rate offerings of railroads. This congressionally-requested report recommends approaches to resynchronize a regulatory program that has become outdated. The U.S. freight railroad industry has modernized and has become financially stable since the Staggers Rail Act of 1980, but the study committee finds that some of the industry's economic regulations have not kept pace and should be replaced with practices suited to today's freight rail system. The study committee finds that more appropriate, reliable, and usable procedures are needed for resolving rate disputes. The committee recommends that Congress should prepare to repeal the formula for eligibility for rate relief and should direct the U.S. Department of Transportation to develop a screening tool that compares disputed rates with rates charged in competitive rail markets. Current methods make artificial and arbitrary estimates of the cost of rail shipping. Adjudication can cost millions of dollars, and some cases have taken years to resolve, deterring shippers with smaller claims. Simplified methods that are economically valid and practical have yet to be introduced. The study committee recommends that STB replace hearings on the reasonableness of rates with arbitration hearings that compel faster, more economical resolutions. Merger reviews should be transferred to antitrust agencies, according to the committee, which also recommends that STB collect and analyze shipment-level data on service quality in overseeing the railroads' response to common carrier service obligations."

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