Supreme Court Decision Victory for America's Train Passengers
March 9, 2015
For Immediate Release (#15-04)
March 9, 2015
Contact: Sean Jeans-Gail, 202-408-8362
Supreme Court Decision Victory for America’s Train Passengers
Updated March 9, 5:20 Eastern: The date of the NARP Day on the Hill was corrected to April 21.
In a victory for passengers, the Supreme Court vacated a lower court decision, reinstating metrics and standards for Amtrak service that will protect the rights of train passengers. In doing so, the court agreed with the “Friend of the Court” brief filed by the National Association of Railroad Passengers and the Environmental Policy & Law Center in U.S. Department of Transportation vs. the Association of American Railroads.
"This is a good day for U.S. passenger rail as it means that the metrics and standards under PRIIA 207 are indeed valid,” said ELPC Federal Legislative Director Karen Torrent. “We look to FRA to reinstate all of its activities required under PRIIA 207, including providing on-time performance statistics to the public."
“The Supreme Court's decision leaves the door open for the parties to go back to the lower courts and fight again on other issues. But at NARP, we think there's a better alternative to years of expensive additional litigation: Congress can resolve the metrics and standards issues once and for all as the new reauthorization of PRRIA makes its way through this legislative season, and everyone who cares about rail in this country can work together to build the 21st Century network the U.S. needs to move people, goods and ideas in a 21st Century economy,” said NARP President Jim Mathews.
NARP’s Council will have its annual Day on the Hill in Washington, D.C. on April 21. There, volunteers representing NARP’s 28,000 members will ask the Senate to address the metrics and standards issues in its response to the rail reauthorization bill recently passed by the House (H.R. 749).
About the National Association of Railroad Passengers
NARP is the only national organization speaking for the users of passenger trains and rail transit. We have worked since 1967 to expand the quality and quantity of passenger rail in the U.S. Our mission is to work towards a modern, customer-focused national passenger train network that provides a travel choice Americans want. Our work is supported by more 28,000 individual members nationwide.
"Saving the Pennsylvanian (New York-Pittsburgh train) was a local effort but it was tremendously useful to have a national organization [NARP] to call upon for information and support. It was the combination of the local and national groups that made this happen."
Michael Alexander, NARP Council Member
April 6, 2013, at the Harrisburg PA membership meeting of NARP