ASLRRA expresses strong support for U.S. Senate’s Surface Transportation Investment Act

Written by David C. Lester, Managing Editor
American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association
ASLRRA strongly supports U.S. Senate’s Surface Transportation Investment Act.

ASLRRA is very enthusiastic about the Senate's Surface Transportation Investment Act.

In response to the introduction of the “Surface Transportation Investment Act’’ introduced June 10, 2021, the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA), which represents the nation’s 600 small business freight railroads and hundreds of railroad suppliers, offers the following statement:

“Short line freight railroads strongly support the Surface Transportation Investment Act introduced by Senate Commerce Committee Chair Maria Cantwell and Ranking Member Roger Wicker. The bill rises to the moment for our country,” said Chuck Baker, President, ASLRRA. “The proposed legislation recognizes and supports the key role that short lines can play in helping to grow the economy in every part of America, creating and sustaining career jobs at railroads and rail shippers alike, protecting the environment, improving transportation safety, and reducing the burden of heavy freight on overcrowded and expensive-to-maintain highways.

“The bill provides multiple excellent competitive funding and financing opportunities for short line freight railroads and our public partners through improvements to the CRISI grant program, the RAISE/BUILD/TIGER program (identified in the bill as the Local and Regional Project Assistance program), the INFRA/Nationally Significant Multimodal Freight Projects program, the Railroad Crossing Elimination Program, and the RRIF loan program.

“While the bill does address quite a few regulations and creates some additional regulatory oversight, overall it does so in a balanced and reasonable fashion, does not include any overly burdensome and unnecessary operational mandates, and is a legislative product that short lines can enthusiastically support.

“The bill is bipartisan and is the result of extensive negotiation and robust stakeholder input. It certainly has our strong support, and seems likely to garner widespread public support. We very much look forward to supporting the bill as it advances through the Senate Commerce Committee, is combined with other necessary pieces of surface transportation legislation, and is eventually signed into public law. We offer our sincere congratulations to not only Chair Cantwell and Ranking Member Wicker, but also Surface Transportation Subcommittee Chair Gary Peters, Ranking Member Deb Fischer, and members of the Committee who worked so efficiently and productively together to produce this legislation. Their staffs also deserve special recognition for their intense and successful collaboration.”

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