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American Public Transportation Association

 To Chairman Thune and Senator Nelson in Support of the Inclusion of a Rail Title Within the Senate's Transportation Authorization Bill

 7/14/2015

The Honorable John Thune 
Chairman 
Senate Committee on Commerce
Science, and Transportation
560 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Bill Nelson
Ranking Member
Senate Committee on Commerce,
Science, and Transportation 
560 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510 ​

Dear Chairman Thune and Ranking Member Nelson:
 
On behalf of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), our 1,500 member agencies, and the millions of Americans that depend on public transportation, I write to commend the Committee’s hard work to advance comprehensive rail legislation that attempts to address safety, funding needs, Amtrak enhancements, improved project delivery, and other important rail policy issues. 

We fully support the inclusion of a rail title within any broader surface transportation authorization package considered in the Senate. And, if a multi-modal or freight discretionary grant program is included within an authorization proposal, we urge you to retain the eligibility for projects that advance transit, rail, and other intermodal initiatives.

Lastly, as APTA’s commuter railroads are committed, as a national safety priority, to implementation of Positive Train Control (PTC) on all commuter and intercity passenger rail lines, we and the entire rail industry are grateful that the Committee has studied, debated, and carefully contemplated the number of complex challenges that railroads are facing as they work to implement their unique PTC systems. We appreciate the Committee’s effort to address the current PTC implementation deadline in this legislation.

Thank you for your consideration of the views of the public transportation industry. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Brian Tynan at (202) 496-4897 or btynan@apta.com​.
Sincerely,

Michael P. Melaniphy
President and CEO
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