“On behalf of the public transportation industry and the millions of daily riders we serve, APTA applauds the United States Congress for extending the Positive Train Control (PTC) deadline for the commuter and freight rail industry to December 31, 2018. Today the Senate passed a three year extension for PTC as a part of passing a short term extension to authorize the surface transportation bill. Additionally, the short term extension allows public transit and highway programs to continue to operate while Congress continues to work on a long-term authorization bill. The House had passed the measure the previous day.
Safety is the number one priority of the public transportation industry and the commuter railroads are 100 percent committed to developing and installing this life-saving PTC technology. The extension will allow for commuter rail operators to achieve the goal of ensuring this PTC technology and its many components are developed, installed, and tested successfully and safely.
Transportation is the backbone of our economy. This three year extension of PTC implementation avoids the risk of an economic crisis that would occur if the nation’s commuter and freight rail systems were force to shut down at the end of the year.
By implementing a realistic timeline for PTC, the disruption of Americans who take nearly 2 million daily trips on commuter rail systems every weekday was avoided. This extension prevents the shifting of these daily commuter rail trips onto overburdened roads which could have contributed to an unsafe commuting environment.
We look forward to working with Congress in appropriating the funding to assist the industry in complying with this essential safety mandate.”
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The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is a nonprofit international association of 1,500 public and private sector organizations, engaged in the areas of bus, paratransit, light rail, commuter rail, subways, waterborne services, and intercity and high-speed passenger rail. This includes: transit systems; planning, design, construction, and finance firms; product and service providers; academic institutions; transit associations and state departments of transportation. APTA is the only association in North America that represents all modes of public transportation. APTA members serve the public interest by providing safe, efficient and economical transit services and products. More than 90 percent of the people using public transportation in the United States and Canada ride APTA member systems.