Mr. Ira F. Jaffe, Chairman
Ms. Barbara C. Deinhardt, Member
Mr. David P. Twomey, Member
Presidential Emergency Board No. 250
c/o The National Mediation Board
1301 K Street, NW, Suite 250 E
Washington, DC 20005
Dear Mr. Jaffe, Ms. Denhardt, and Mr. Twomey:
On behalf of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), which represents an $80 billion industry that directly employs 450,000 people and supports millions of private-sector jobs, I write to request that the Presidential Emergency Board consider the impact of any strike or work stoppage on passenger rail service as it investigates and makes recommendations to resolve the contract negotiation impasse between the Class I railroads and their employees.
APTA represents the commuter and intercity passenger railroad industry. Commuter rail is an $11.2 billion industry that creates and supports 190,000 public- and private-sector jobs. Commuter and intercity passenger railroads often share railroad tracks with freight railroads that in most instances own and maintain the tracks. Commuter railroads alone operate on more than 3,000 miles of freight railroad track and often rely upon freight railroad workers to enable passenger railroads to operate safely.
Prior to the pandemic, more than 1.7 million passengers traveled on our commuter rail system each day to access jobs, housing, health care, and educational opportunities. Any shutdown of the freight railroad system would have severe repercussions to U.S. commuter and intercity passenger rail networks at a time when our nation is just beginning to restore ridership in the wake of the pandemic and grow passenger rail service in light of the historic investments of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
It is our strong desire that, with your help, the freight railroads and their employees will reach a mutually acceptable agreement without disruption. Given the enormous impact that a disruption to the freight railroad network would have on passenger rail service, we urge you to consider those impacts fully as you make recommendations to resolve the dispute.
Thank you for your consideration.
Paul P. Skoutelas
President and CEO
cc: National Carriers’ Conference Committee
United Rail Unions