FRA publishes final rule to measure performance of Amtrak passenger services
The final rule includes metrics relating to Amtrak’s on-time performance and train delays, customer service and station performance.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has published a final rule that sets forth metrics and a minimum standard to measure the performance and service quality of Amtrak intercity passenger train operations, including metrics relating to on-time performance and train delays, customer service and financial and public benefits.
The final rule requires Amtrak and its host railroads to certify Amtrak schedules, and sets an on-time performance minimum standard of 80 per cent for any two consecutive calendar quarters. Other metrics that FRA defines in the final rule include ridership, train delays, station performance and host running time.
Federal Railroad Administration Administrator, Ronald L. Batory, said: “This final rule is a major accomplishment for this Administration and a huge victory for the travelling public. When I personally met with the leaders of Amtrak and the nation’s largest freight railroads earlier in 2020, I impressed upon them the need for the travelling public to have reliable passenger rail service, and the Administration’s final rule reflects a commitment to improving Amtrak’s performance in the modern-day freight rail environment.”
The final rule’s singular on-time performance standard gives customers, Amtrak, the host railroads and other stakeholders a method to objectively gauge Amtrak trains. “Everyone relying on one standard means that, when problems arise, we can all speak the same language to work toward a common goal,” Batory added.
After issuing the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in March 2020, FRA hosted a telephonic hearing on 30 April 2020 and received more than 320 written comments in response to the proposed rule-making.
“There are a lot of voices and perspectives in this conversation,” Batory said. “We’ve listened and worked diligently to create the best solution for all.”
The final rule can be found here.