PTC Extension Passes House, Moves to Senate
As the legislative process moves forward on a potential Positive Train Control (PTC) extension, I wanted to provide a brief update on positive developments that occurred yesterday. The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously approved the PTC extension provision attached to H.R. 3819, the Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2015. Considered a “must pass” bill, this legislation needs to be enacted by October 29 to avoid shutting off federal funding to states for highway and transit-related projects. If passed, H.R. 3819 will extend those programs until November 20, giving Congress more time to complete negotiations on a multi-year transportation bill.
The PTC extension provision attached to H.R. 3819 extends the PTC implementation deadline to 2018 and provides for a limited two-year extension beyond that, if necessary, to ensure complete, effective and safe implementation.
The House approving H.R. 3819, complete with the PTC extension provision, is a promising, timely step forward in the effort to secure a PTC extension before the end of October. However, as mentioned in my earlier communications, the bill now moves to the Senate where a single senator's objection can delay or even stop the legislative process. Nonetheless, the Senate is expected to vote on the bill this afternoon.
Now is an important moment for all U.S. railroads, their customers and other vested stakeholders to actively communicate with their elected Senators encouraging swift passage of H.R. 3819.
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