Getting to Work: Examining Challenges and Solutions in the Commuter Rail Industry

2167 Rayburn House Office Building

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0 Wednesday, April 17, 2024 @ 10:00 | Contact: Justin Harclerode 202-225-9446

This is a hearing of the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials.

Witness list:
  • Mr. Mike Noland, President, Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District | Written Testimony
  • Ms. Debra Johnson, General Manager and Chief Executive Officer, RTD-Denver | Written Testimony
  • Mr. David W. Dech, Executive Director, South Florida Regional Transportation Authority / Tri-Rail | Written Testimony
  • Mr. Kevin Corbett, President and Chief Executive Officer, New Jersey Transit on behalf of the Northeast Corridor Commission | Written Testimony
  • Mr. Darren Kettle, Chief Executive Officer, Metrolink | Written Testimony

Opening remarks, as prepared, of Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee Chairman Troy Nehls (R-TX) from hearing, entitled “Getting to Work: Examining Challenges and Solutions in the Commuter Rail Industry”:

Today’s hearing will discuss the state of commuter passenger rail, with a focus on developing commuter rail to ensure it is safe, efficient, cost effective, and that it meets the demands of the public.

Investments and innovation in our rail infrastructure are essential to building a robust and competitive American transportation system. We must ensure that Federal policies and spending are balanced with a realistic analysis of consumer demand for commuter rail and the best use of taxpayer dollars.

Technology has now made it possible to work remotely. Many workers have responded by purchasing homes farther from cities and foregoing their daily work commute. This naturally effects commuter rail ridership and demand.

Commuter rail service is primarily designed to address a high volume of passengers traveling to and from cities, operating in metropolitan, suburban, and exurban areas. These systems can be a cost-effective transportation alternative for these longer commutes. Several local and regional agencies operate their own service, while others contract with Amtrak or private sector companies. These private sector providers help lower costs, improve services, and increase ridership.

I look forward to hearing from today’s witnesses about the challenges and opportunities for commuter rail services, as well as best practices to improve service, realize efficiencies, and increase fare revenues.

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