| 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. ...
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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