Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation STB Reauthorization Act will help expedite rate cases, FRCA says

The new Surface Transportation Reauthorization (STB) Act of 2015 may help assist shippers in rate cases before the board, a leader of the Freight Rail Customer Alliance  (FRCA) told a U.S. Senate committee last week.

The new law, which President Barack Obama signed in December 2015, “is helping our entire nation better meet today’s freight rail shipping demands and expectations,” FRCA board member Thomas Heller told the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee during a hearing held last week in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Heller described how the law may help shippers in expediting rate cases before the STB. The new law directs the board to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of large rate case methodologies and potential, economically sound additional and alternative approaches to expedite particularly large rate cases, he said in a press release that was issued after the hearing.

“The length and cost of the current approach has proven to be an impediment to many rail customers obtaining rate protection under the STB rules,” Heller said.

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