Home > 105th Congressional Bills > H.R. 2193 (ih) To amend title 10, United States Code, to clarify the definition of depot-level maintenance and repair as the definition applies to the Department of the Army. ...

H.R. 2193 (ih) To amend title 10, United States Code, to clarify the definition of depot-level maintenance and repair as the definition applies to the Department of the Army. ...


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108th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 2192

 To authorize appropriations for the Surface Transportation Board, to 
         enhance railroad competition, and for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                              May 21, 2003

 Mr. Oberstar introduced the following bill; which was referred to the 
             Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
 To authorize appropriations for the Surface Transportation Board, to 
         enhance railroad competition, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Surface Transportation Board Reform 
Act of 2003''.

SEC. 2. TABLE OF CONTENTS.

Sec. 1. Short title.
Sec. 2. Table of contents.
                     TITLE I--RAILROAD COMPETITION

Sec. 101. Clarification of rail transportation policy.
Sec. 102. Fostering rail to rail competition.
Sec. 103. Simplified relief process for small captive grain shippers.
Sec. 104. Competitive rail service in terminal areas.
Sec. 105. Simplified standards for market dominance.
Sec. 106. Revenue adequacy determinations.
Sec. 107. Rail carrier service quality performance reports.
                        TITLE II--MISCELLANEOUS

Sec. 201. Effect of mergers on local communities and rail passenger 
                            transportation.
Sec. 202. Use of facilities by commuter authorities.
Sec. 203. Side tracks.
Sec. 204. Public availability of water carrier tariffs.
               TITLE III--AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS

Sec. 301. Authorization of appropriations.

                     TITLE I--RAILROAD COMPETITION

SEC. 101. CLARIFICATION OF RAIL TRANSPORTATION POLICY.

    Section 10101 of title 49, United States Code, is amended--
            (1) by inserting ``(a) In General.--'' before ``In 
        regulating''; and
            (2) by adding at the end the following:
    ``(b) Primary Objectives.--The primary objectives of the rail 
transportation policy of the United States shall be--
            ``(1) to ensure effective competition among rail carriers 
        at origin and destination;
            ``(2) to maintain reasonable rates in the absence of 
        effective competition;
            ``(3) to maintain consistent and efficient rail 
        transportation service to shippers, including the timely 
        provision of railcars requested by shippers; and
            ``(4) to ensure that smaller carload and intermodal 
        shippers are not precluded from accessing rail systems due to 
        volume requirements.''.

SEC. 102. FOSTERING RAIL TO RAIL COMPETITION.

    (a) Establishment of Rate.--Section 11101(a) of title 49, United 
States Code, is amended by inserting after the first sentence the 
following: ``Upon the request of a shipper, a rail carrier shall 
establish a rate for transportation and provide service requested by 
the shipper between any two points on the system of that carrier where 
traffic originates, terminates, or may reasonably be interchanged. A 
carrier shall establish a rate and provide service upon such request 
without regard to--
            ``(1) whether the rate established is for only part of a 
        movement between an origin and a destination;
            ``(2) whether the shipper has made arrangements for 
        transportation for any other part of that movement; or
            ``(3) whether the shipper currently has a contract with any 
        rail carrier for part or all of its transportation needs over 
        the route of movement.
If such a contract exists, the rate established by the carrier shall 
not apply to transportation covered by the contract.''.
    (b) Review of Reasonableness of Rates.--Section 10701(d) of title 
49, United States Code, is amended--
            (1) by redesignating paragraph (3) as paragraph (4); and
            (2) by inserting after paragraph (2) the following:
    ``(3) A shipper may challenge the reasonableness of any rate 
established by a rail carrier in accordance with section 11101(a) or 
with subsection (c) of this section. The Board shall determine the 
reasonableness of the rate so challenged without regard to--
            ``(A) whether the rate established is for only part of a 
        movement between an origin and a destination;
            ``(B) whether the shipper has made arrangements for 
        transportation for any other part of that movement; or
            ``(C) whether the shipper currently has a contract with a 
        rail carrier for any part of the rail traffic at issue, 
        provided that the rate prescribed by the Board shall not apply 
        to transportation covered by such a contract.''.

SEC. 103. SIMPLIFIED RELIEF PROCESS FOR SMALL CAPTIVE GRAIN SHIPPERS.

    (a) Limitation on Fees.--Notwithstanding any other provision of 
law, the Surface Transportation Board shall not impose fees in excess 
of $1,000 for services collected from an eligible facility in 
connection with rail maximum rate complaints under part 1002 of title 
49, Code of Federal Regulations.
    (b) Simplified Rate and Service Relief.--Section 10701 of title 49, 
United States Code, is amended by adding at the end thereof the 
following:
    ``(e) Simplified Rates and Services.--
            ``(1) In general.--Notwithstanding any other provision of 
        law, a rail carrier may not charge a rate for shipments from or 
        to an eligible facility which results in a revenue-to-variable 
        cost percentage, using system average costs, for the 
        transportation service to which the rate applies that is 
        greater than 180 percent.
            ``(2) Acceptance of requests.--Notwithstanding any other 
        provision of law, a rail carrier shall accept all requests for 
        grain service from an eligible facility up to a maximum of 110 
        percent of the grain carloads shipped from or to the facility 
        in the immediately preceding calendar year. If, in a majority 
        of instances, a rail carrier does not in any 45-day period, 
        supply the number of grain cars so ordered by an eligible 
        facility or does not initiate service within 30 days of the 
        reasonably specified loading date, the eligible facility may 
        request that an alternative rail carrier provide the service 
        using the tracks of the original carrier. If the alternative 
        rail carrier agrees to provide such service, and such service 
        can be provided without substantially impairing the ability of 
        the carrier whose tracks reach the facility to use such tracks 
        to handle its own business, the Board shall order the 
        alternative carrier to commence service and to compensate the 
        other carrier for the use of its tracks. The alternative 
        carrier shall provide reasonable compensation to the original 
        carrier for the use of the original carrier's tracks.
            ``(3) Cancellation penalties.--A carrier may accept car 
        orders under paragraph (2) subject to reasonable penalties for 
        service requests that are canceled by the requester. If the 
        carrier fills such orders more than 15 days after the 
        reasonably specified loading date, the carrier may not assess a 
        penalty for canceled car orders.
            ``(4) Damages.--A rail carrier that fails to provide 
        service under the requirements of paragraph (2) is liable for 
        damages to an eligible facility that does not have access to an 
        alternative carrier, including lost profits, attorney's fees, 
        and any other consequences attributable to the carrier's 
        failure to provide the ordered service. A claim for such damage 
        may be brought in an appropriate United States District Court 
        or before the Board.
            ``(5) Timetable for board proceeding.--The Board shall 
        conclude any proceeding brought under this subsection no later 
        than 180 days from the date a complaint is filed.
            ``(6) Definitions.--In this subsection:
                    ``(A) Eligible facility.--The term `eligible 
                facility' means a shipper facility that--
                            ``(i) is the origin or destination for not 
                        more than 4,000 carloads annually of grain as 
                        defined in section 3(g) of the United States 
                        Grain Standards Act (7 U.S.C. 75(g));
                            ``(ii) is served by a single rail carrier 
                        at its origin;
                            ``(iii) has more than 60 percent of the 
                        facility's inbound or outbound grain and grain 
                        product shipments (excluding the delivery of 
                        grain to the facility by producers), measured 
                        by weight or bushels moved via a rail carrier 
                        in the immediately preceding calendar year; and
                            ``(iv) the rate charged by the rail carrier 
                        for the majority of shipments of grain and 
                        grain products from or to the facility, 
                        excluding premium for special service programs, 
                        results in a revenue-to-variable cost 
                        percentage, using system average costs, for the 
                        transportation to which the rate applies that 
                        is equal to or greater than 180 percent.
                    ``(B) Reasonable compensation.--The term 
                `reasonable compensation' shall mean an amount no 
                greater than the total shared costs of the original 
                carrier and the alternative carrier incurred, on a 
                usage basis, for the provision of service to an 
                eligible facility. If the carriers are unable to agree 
                on compensation terms within 15 days after the facility 
requests service from the alternative carrier, the alternative carrier 
or the eligible facility may request the Board to establish the 
compensation and the Board shall establish the compensation within 45 
days after such request is made.
                    ``(C) Original carrier.--The term `original 
                carrier' means a rail carrier which provides the only 
                rail service to an eligible facility using its own 
                tracks or provides such service over an exclusive lease 
                of the tracks serving the eligible facility.
                    ``(D) Alternative carrier.--The term `alternative 
                carrier' means a rail carrier that is not an original 
                carrier to an eligible facility.''.

SEC. 104. COMPETITIVE RAIL SERVICE IN TERMINAL AREAS.

    (a) Trackage Rights.--Section 11102(a) of title 49, United States 
Code, is amended--
            (1) by striking ``may'' in the first sentence and inserting 
        ``shall'';
            (2) by inserting after ``business.'' the following: ``In 
        making this determination, the Board shall not require evidence 
        of anticompetitive conduct by the rail carrier from which 
        access is sought.''; and
            (3) by striking ``may'' in the next-to-last sentence and 
        inserting ``shall''.
    (b) Reciprocal Switching.--Section 11102(c)(1) of title 49, United 
States Code, is amended--
            (1) by striking ``may'' in the first sentence and inserting 
        ``shall'';
            (2) by inserting after ``service.'' the following: ``In 
        making this determination, the Board shall not require evidence 
        of anticompetitive conduct by the rail carrier from which 
        access is sought.''; and
            (3) by striking ``may'' in the last sentence and inserting 
        ``shall''.

SEC. 105. SIMPLIFIED STANDARDS FOR MARKET DOMINANCE.

    Section 10707(d)(1)(A) of title 49, United States Code, is amended 
by adding at the end thereof the following: ``The Board shall not 
consider evidence of product or geographic competition in making a 
market dominance determination under this section.''.

SEC. 106. REVENUE ADEQUACY DETERMINATIONS.

    (a) Rail Transportation Policy.--Section 10101(a)(3) of title 49, 
United States Code (as so redesignated by section 101 of this Act), is 
amended by striking ``revenues, as determined by the Board;'' and 
inserting ``revenues;''.
    (b) Standards for Rates.--Section 10701(d)(2) of title 49, United 
States Code, is amended by striking ``revenues, as established by the 
Board under section 10704(a)(2) of this title'' and inserting 
``revenues''.
    (c) Revenue Adequacy Determinations.--Section 10704(a) of title 49, 
United States Code, is amended--
            (1) by striking ``(a)(1)'' and inserting ``(a)''; and
            (2) by striking paragraphs (2) and (3).

SEC. 107. RAIL CARRIER SERVICE QUALITY PERFORMANCE REPORTS.

    (a) In General.--Chapter 5 of subtitle I of title 49, United States 
Code, is amended by adding at the end thereof the following:

                 ``SUBCHAPTER III--PERFORMANCE REPORTS

``Sec. 541. Rail carrier service quality performance reports
    ``(a) In General.--The Secretary of Transportation shall require, 
by regulation, each rail carrier to submit a monthly report to the 
Secretary, in such uniform format as the Secretary may by regulation 
prescribe, containing information about--
            ``(1) its on-time performance;
            ``(2) its car availability deadline performance;
            ``(3) its average train speed;
            ``(4) its average terminal dwell time;
            ``(5) the number of its cars loaded (by major commodity 
        group); and
            ``(6) such other aspects of its performance as a rail 
        carrier as the Secretary may require.
    ``(b) Information Furnished to STB; the Public.--The Secretary 
shall furnish a copy of each report required under subsection (a) to 
the Surface Transportation Board no later than the next business day 
following its receipt by the Secretary, and shall make each such report 
available to the public.
    ``(c) Annual Report to the Congress.--The Secretary shall transmit 
to the Congress an annual report based upon information received by the 
Secretary under this section.
    ``(d) Definitions.--In this section, the definitions in section 
10102 apply.''.
    (b) Conforming Amendment.--The chapter analysis for chapter 5 of 
subtitle I of title 49, United States Code, is amended by adding at the 
end thereof the following:

                 ``SUBCHAPTER III--PERFORMANCE REPORTS

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