Government Issues

APTA's Melaniphy calls for Congress to fund PTC

Posted on December 5, 2013

In the wake of the recent accident in New York, American Public Transportation Association President/CEO Michael Melaniphy released a statement discussing how commuter rail systems around the nation are working aggressively on positive train control (PTC), while urging Congress to fund PTC’s implementation.

“By every measure, commuting by rail is one of the safest ways to travel and the commuter rail industry is unequivocally committed to implementing innovative safety technologies. The commuter railroad industry is aggressively implementing PTC, a technology, which is still being developed and tested, that would prevent collisions between trains and derailments resulting from trains traveling too fast. A PTC system would prevent trains from entering work zones as well as prevent the movement of trains through switches left in the wrong position.

All commuter rail systems in the United States have developed PTC implementation plans and as of June 2013, have spent at least $458 million in installing PTC. It is estimated that the cost of full implementation of PTC will be at least $2.75 billion. To date, Congress has only appropriated $50 million for PTC for this critical safety program.

Appropriating $50 million does not begin to address the costs of PTC implementation. It is APTA’s long-standing position that Congress needs to authorize and appropriate funding for PTC implementation for commuter railroads that will cover 80% of the implementation costs. Congress needs to do its part to make sure the PTC implementation can occur as soon as possible. Without additional funds, most commuter rail systems, which are all public agencies, will be constrained in their ability to proceed as quickly as possible.

There are several other reasons, beyond the lack of funding, that APTA has asked for an extension beyond the Dec. 31, 2015 deadline mandated in the Rail Safety Improvement Act. Both the Federal Railroad Administration and the Government Accountability Office have reviewed this issue and have concluded that most commuter railroads will not be able to meet the deadline.

There are significant technological challenges. Some of the technology required for PTC systems is still under development and has never been successfully tested in the commuter railroad environment with its unique operating characteristics where there are often multiple railroads sharing the same segment of track. Also, there are a very limited number of vendors who have the expertise needed to produce and install the systems.

Additionally, PTC is a communications intense technology which requires radio spectrum to transmit data between trains and communications towers. APTA has asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to provide free radio spectrum for commuter railroads as a public safety priority. There has been no action on this critical communications element, so APTA has called on Congress to direct the FCC to provide free radio spectrum.

Despite the challenges, the commuter rail industry is dedicated to full development of PTC, and is working aggressively to implement it. Congress must urgently address this critical safety technology and make sure that this congressional mandate is properly funded.”

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

Sec. Foxx receives WTS 'Diversity Leadership' award

The WTS Rosa Parks Diversity Leadership Award is given to individuals who exhibit extraordinary efforts or initiatives in facilitating professional opportunities for women and minorities and contribute significantly to the promotion of diversity, inclusion, and multi-cultural awareness.

Amtrak ordered to control Northeast Corridor train speed

The order is the latest in a series of actions the FRA has taken in the wake of last week’s derailment of Amtrak Train #188.

Secretary Foxx tours L.A. Metro, touts infrastructure

The stop was part of Foxx's tour of projects throughout the country to highlight the nation’s third annual Infrastructure Week, which brings together thousands of stakeholders across the country to highlight the importance of investing in America’s infrastructure, and to encourage Congress to act on a long-term transportation bill.

'Infrastructure Week' to highlight need for long-term fed investment

In support of the third annual Infrastructure Week, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx participated in kickoff events in Washington, D.C. yesterday and will then head out to meet with state and local leaders, business leaders, and academics in Tennessee, California and Iowa.

APTA lauds 'Stand Up' Campaign, Expects Short-Term Fed Funding Fix

FTA Acting Administrator Therese McMillan highlighted a few programs that have been created to help fill the needs of the industry, including the FTA’s Ladders of Opportunity initiative, which made available $100 million in grants for transit agencies to modernize and expand transit bus service specifically for the purpose of connecting disadvantaged and low-income individuals, veterans, seniors, youths, and others with local workforce training, employment centers, healthcare and other vital services.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The resource for managers of class 1-7 truck Fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close