Dear Chairman Shuster and Ranking Member DeFazio:
On behalf of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), our 1,500 member organizations, and the millions of Americans that depend on public transportation, I write in strong support of H.R. 3651, The Positive Train Control Enforcement and Implementation Act of 2015. This bi-partisan measure recognizes the challenges of PTC implementation and establishes a realistic timetable for the effective installation of these important new safety technologies
throughout our national rail network.
APTA’s commuter railroads are committed to the implementation of PTC on all commuter and intercity passenger rail lines and already have spent more than $1 billion designing, implementing, and testing their PTC systems. Despite the enormous expenditure of resources and staff, most commuter railroads will not meet the federal deadline for PTC installation. Additional time, as provided by H.R. 3651, will allow rail agencies to further their progress toward full PTC implementation on all required rail lines in a way that minimizes system failures and ensures interoperability.
We urge the House to consider providing federal funding to help defray massive PTC installation costs and authorize the Federal Communications Commission to allocate required radio spectrum, without cost, to commuter and intercity railroads. Thank you for your leadership on this critical issue. Your efforts support national rail safety goals and avert the national economic crisis that would surely arise if passenger, commuter, and freight rail service was suspended or significantly reduced. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Brian Tynan at (202) 496-4897 or firstname.lastname@example.org.