49 U.S. Code § 24101 - Findings, mission, and goals

§ 24101.
Findings, mission, and goals
(a)Findings.—
(1)
Public convenience and necessity require that Amtrak, to the extent its budget allows, provide modern, cost-efficient, and energy-efficient intercity rail passenger transportation between crowded urban areas and in other areas of the United States.
(2)
Rail passenger transportation can help alleviate overcrowding of airways and airports and on highways.
(3)
A traveler in the United States should have the greatest possible choice of transportation most convenient to the needs of the traveler.
(4)
A greater degree of cooperation is necessary among Amtrak, other rail carriers, State, regional, and local governments, the private sector, labor organizations, and suppliers of services and equipment to Amtrak to achieve a performance level sufficient to justify expending public money.
(5)
Modern and efficient commuter rail passenger transportation is important to the viability and well-being of major urban areas and to the energy conservation and self-sufficiency goals of the United States.
(6)
As a rail passenger transportation entity, Amtrak should be available to operate commuter rail passenger transportation through its subsidiary, Amtrak Commuter, under contract with commuter authorities that do not provide the transportation themselves as part of the governmental function of the State.
(7)
The Northeast Corridor is a valuable resource of the United States used by intercity and commuter rail passenger transportation and freight transportation.
(8)
Greater coordination between intercity and commuter rail passenger transportation is required.
(b)Mission.—
The mission of Amtrak is to provide efficient and effective intercity passenger rail mobility consisting of high quality service that is trip-time competitive with other intercity travel options and that is consistent with the goals set forth in subsection (c).
(c)Goals.—Amtrak shall—
(1) use its best business judgment in acting to minimize United States Government subsidies, including—
(A)
increasing fares;
(B)
increasing revenue from the transportation of mail and express;
(C)
reducing losses on food service;
(D)
improving its contracts with operating rail carriers;
(E)
reducing management costs; and
(F)
increasing employee productivity;
(2)
minimize Government subsidies by encouraging State, regional, and local governments and the private sector, separately or in combination, to share the cost of providing rail passenger transportation, including the cost of operating facilities;
(3)
carry out strategies to achieve immediately maximum productivity and efficiency consistent with safe and efficient transportation;
(4)
operate Amtrak trains, to the maximum extent feasible, to all station stops within 15 minutes of the time established in public timetables;
(5)
develop transportation on rail corridors subsidized by States and private parties;
(6)
implement schedules based on a systemwide average speed of at least 60 miles an hour that can be achieved with a degree of reliability and passenger comfort;
(7)
encourage rail carriers to assist in improving intercity rail passenger transportation;
(8)
improve generally the performance of Amtrak through comprehensive and systematic operational programs and employee incentives;
(9)
provide additional or complementary intercity transportation service to ensure mobility in times of national disaster or other instances where other travel options are not adequately available;
(10)
carry out policies that ensure equitable access to the Northeast Corridor by intercity and commuter rail passenger transportation;
(11)
coordinate the uses of the Northeast Corridor, particularly intercity and commuter rail passenger transportation; and
(12)
maximize the use of its resources, including the most cost-effective use of employees, facilities, and real property.
(d)Minimizing Government Subsidies.—
To carry out subsection (c)(12) of this section, Amtrak is encouraged to make agreements with the private sector and undertake initiatives that are consistent with good business judgment and designed to maximize its revenues and minimize Government subsidies. Amtrak shall prepare a financial plan, consistent with section 204 of the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008, including the budgetary goals for fiscal years 2009 through 2013. Amtrak and its Board of Directors shall adopt a long-term plan that minimizes the need for Federal operating subsidies.
(Pub. L. 103–272, § 1(e), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 899; Pub. L. 105–134, title I, § 105(b), title II, § 201, Dec. 2, 1997, 111 Stat. 2573, 2578; Pub. L. 110–432, div. B, title II, §§ 201(e)(1), 218(a)(1), Oct. 16, 2008, 122 Stat. 4910, 4930; Pub. L. 114–94, div. A, title XI, § 11316(l), Dec. 4, 2015, 129 Stat. 1678.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Revised

Section

Source (U.S. Code)

Source (Statutes at Large)

24101(a)

45:501.

Oct. 30, 1970, Pub. L. 91–518, § 101, 84 Stat. 1328; Sept. 29, 1979, Pub. L. 96–73, § 102, 93 Stat. 537; restated Aug. 13, 1981, Pub. L. 97–35, § 1171, 95 Stat. 687.

24101(b)

45:541 (2d sentence words after 1st comma).

Oct. 30, 1970, Pub. L. 91–518, § 301 (2d sentence words after 1st comma), 84 Stat. 1330; Aug. 13, 1981, Pub. L. 97–35, § 1188(a), 95 Stat. 699.

24101(c)

45:501a (less (14) (last sentence)).

Oct. 30, 1970, Pub. L. 91–518, 84 Stat. 1327, § 102; added Sept. 29, 1979, Pub. L. 96–73, § 103(a), 93 Stat. 537; Aug. 13, 1981, Pub. L. 97–35, § 1172, 95 Stat. 688.

24101(d)

45:501a(14) (last sentence).

In this part, the word “Amtrak” is substituted for “National Railroad Passenger Corporation”, and the words “Amtrak Commuter” are substituted for “Amtrak Commuter Services Corporation”, to reflect the more current and commonly used names of the entities. The words “rail transportation” are substituted for “rail service” and “rail services”, the word “transportation” is substituted for “service” where appropriate, and the word “authority” is substituted for “agency”, as being more appropriate and for consistency in the revised title and with other titles of the United States Code. The words “rail carrier” are substituted for “railroad” because of the definitions of “rail carrier” and “railroad” in 49:10102.

In subsection (a), the words “The Congress finds that the” and “The Congress further finds that” are omitted as surplus.

In subsection (a)(3), the words “greatest possible choice of” are substituted for “to the maximum extent feasible . . . the freedom to choose the mode of” to eliminate unnecessary words.

In subsection (c), before clause (1), the words “Amtrak shall” are substituted for “The Congress hereby establishes the following goals for Amtrak” to eliminate unnecessary words. The text of 45:501a(3) and (4) is omitted as executed. The text of 45:501a(9) is omitted as obsolete because there no longer are any technical assistance panels. In clause (2), the words “stations and other” are omitted as surplus. In clause (4), the words “for such operation” are omitted as surplus. In clause (10), the word “various” is omitted as surplus. In clause (11), the words “real property” are substituted for “real estate” for consistency in the revised title and with other titles of the Code.

References in Text

Section 204 of the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008, referred to in subsec. (d), is section 204 of Pub. L. 110–432, which was set out in a note below, prior to repeal by Pub. L. 114–94, div. A, title XI, § 11203(d), Dec. 4, 2015, 129 Stat. 1634.

Amendments

2015—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 114–94 substituted “set forth in subsection (c)” for “of subsection (d)”.

2008—Pub. L. 110–432, § 201(e)(1)(A), substituted “mission” for “purpose” in section catchline.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 110–432, § 201(e)(1)(B), added subsec. (b) and struck out former subsec. (b). Prior to amendment, text read as follows: “By using innovative operating and marketing concepts, Amtrak shall provide intercity and commuter rail passenger transportation that completely develops the potential of modern rail transportation to meet the intercity and commuter passenger transportation needs of the United States.”

Subsec. (c)(9) to (12). Pub. L. 110–432, § 201(e)(1)(C), added par. (9) and redesignated former pars. (9) to (11) as (10) to (12), respectively.

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 110–432, § 218(a)(1)(B), substituted “Amtrak and its Board of Directors shall adopt a long-term plan that minimizes the need for Federal operating subsidies.” for “Commencing no later than the fiscal year following the fifth anniversary of the Amtrak Reform and Accountability Act of 1997, Amtrak shall operate without Federal operating grant funds appropriated for its benefit.”

Pub. L. 110–432, § 218(a)(1)(A), which directed substitution of “plan, consistent with section 204 of the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008, including the budgetary goals for fiscal years 2009 through 2013.” for “plan to operate within the funding levels authorized by section 24104 of this chapter, including the budgetary goals for fiscal years 1998 through 2002.” was executed by making the substitution for “plan to operate within the funding levels authorized by section 24104 of this chapter, including budgetary goals for fiscal years 1998 through 2002.” to reflect the probable intent of Congress.

Pub. L. 110–432, § 201(e)(1)(D), substituted “subsection (c)(12)” for “subsection (c)(11)”.

1997—Subsec. (c)(2). Pub. L. 105–134, § 105(b), inserted “, separately or in combination,” after “and the private sector”.

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 105–134, § 201, inserted at end “Amtrak shall prepare a financial plan to operate within the funding levels authorized by section 24104 of this chapter, including budgetary goals for fiscal years 1998 through 2002. Commencing no later than the fiscal year following the fifth anniversary of the Amtrak Reform and Accountability Act of 1997, Amtrak shall operate without Federal operating grant funds appropriated for its benefit.”

Effective Date of 2015 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 114–94 effective Oct. 1, 2015, see section 1003 of Pub. L. 114–94, set out as a note under section 5313 of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

Amtrak To Continue To Provide Non-High-Speed Services

Pub. L. 110–432, div. B, title II, § 201(c), Oct. 16, 2008, 122 Stat. 4910, provided that:

“Nothing in this division [see Short Title of 2008 Amendment note set out under section 20101 of this title] is intended to preclude Amtrak from restoring, improving, or developing non-high-speed intercity passenger rail service.”

Amtrak Reform and Operational Improvements

Pub. L. 110–432, div. B, title II, §§ 203–209, Oct. 16, 2008, 122 Stat. 4912–4917, as amended by Pub. L. 114–94, div. A, title XI, §§ 11006(b)(2), 11202(c)(1), 11203(d), 11204(b)(2), 11206, 11214, Dec. 4, 2015, 129 Stat. 1624, 1630, 1634, 1637, 1644, provided that:

“SEC. 203.
ESTABLISHMENT OF IMPROVED FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING SYSTEM.
“(a)In General.—The Amtrak Board of Directors—
“(1)
may employ an independent financial consultant with experience in railroad accounting to assist Amtrak in improving Amtrak’s financial accounting and reporting system and practices;
“(2)
shall implement a modern financial accounting and reporting system not later than 3 years after the date of enactment of this Act [Oct. 16, 2008]; and
“(3) shall, not later than 90 days after the end of each fiscal year through fiscal year 2013—
“(A) submit to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate a comprehensive report that allocates all of Amtrak’s revenues and costs to each of its routes, each of its lines of business, and each major activity within each route and line of business activity, including—
“(i)
train operations;
“(ii)
equipment maintenance;
“(iii)
food service;
“(iv)
sleeping cars;
“(v)
ticketing;
“(vi)
reservations; and
“(vii)
unallocated fixed overhead costs;
“(B)
include the report described in subparagraph (A) in Amtrak’s annual report; and
“(C)
post such report on Amtrak’s website.
“(b)Verification of System; Report.—
The Inspector General of the Department of Transportation shall review the accounting system designed and implemented under subsection (a) to ensure that it accomplishes the purposes for which it is intended. The Inspector General shall report his or her findings and conclusions, together with any recommendations, to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate.
“(c)Categorization of Revenues and Expenses.—
In carrying out subsection (a), the Amtrak Board of Directors shall separately categorize assigned revenues and attributable expenses by type of service, including long-distance routes, State-sponsored routes, commuter contract routes, and Northeast Corridor routes.
“[SEC. 204.
Repealed. Pub. L. 114–94, div. A, title XI, § 11203(d), Dec. 4, 2015, 129 Stat. 1634.]
“SEC. 205.
RESTRUCTURING LONG-TERM DEBT AND CAPITAL LEASES.
“(a)In General.—
The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary [of Transportation] and Amtrak, may make agreements to restructure Amtrak’s indebtedness, to the extent provided in advance in appropriations Acts.
“(b)Debt Restructuring.—
To the extent amounts are provided in advance in appropriations Acts, the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary and Amtrak, shall enter into negotiations with the holders of Amtrak debt, including leases, outstanding for the purpose of restructuring (including repayment) and repaying that debt. The Secretary of the Treasury may secure agreements for restructuring or repayment on such terms as the Secretary of the Treasury deems favorable to the interests of the United States Government.
“(c)Criteria.—In restructuring Amtrak’s indebtedness, the Secretary of the Treasury and Amtrak—
“(1)
shall take into consideration repayment costs, the term of any loan or loans, and market conditions; and
“(2)
shall ensure that the restructuring results in significant savings to Amtrak and the United States Government.
“(d)Payment of Renegotiated Debt.—
If the criteria under subsection (c) are met, the Secretary of the Treasury may assume or repay the restructured debt, as appropriate, to the extent provided in advance in appropriations Acts.
“(e) Amtrak Principal and Interest Payments.—
“(1)Principal on debt service.—
Unless the Secretary of the Treasury makes sufficient payments to creditors under subsection (d) so that Amtrak is required to make no payments to creditors in a fiscal year, the Secretary [of Transportation] shall use funds authorized for the use of Amtrak for retirement of principal or payment of interest on loans for capital equipment, or capital leases.
“(2)Reductions in authorization levels.—
Whenever action taken by the Secretary of the Treasury under subsection (a) results in reductions in amounts of principal or interest that Amtrak must service on existing debt, the corresponding amounts authorized for Amtrak shall be reduced accordingly.
“(f)Legal Effect of Payments Under This Section.—The payment of principal and interest on secured debt, other than debt assumed under subsection (d), with the proceeds of grants under subsection (e) shall not—
“(1)
modify the extent or nature of any indebtedness of Amtrak to the United States in existence;
“(2)
change the private nature of Amtrak’s or its successors’ liabilities; or
“(3)
imply any Federal guarantee or commitment to amortize Amtrak’s outstanding indebtedness.
“(g)Secretary Approval.—
Amtrak may not incur more debt after the date of enactment of this Act without the express advance approval of the Secretary [of Transportation], unless that debt receives credit assistance, including direct loans and loan guarantees, under chapter 6 of title 23, United States Code or title V of the Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act of 1976 (45 U.S.C. 821 et seq.).
“[SEC. 206.
Repealed. Pub. L. 114–94, div. A, title XI, § 11202(c)(1), Dec. 4, 2015, 129 Stat. 1630.]
“SEC. 207.
METRICS AND STANDARDS.
“(a)In General.—
Within 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act [Oct. 16, 2008], the Federal Railroad Administration and Amtrak shall jointly, in consultation with the Surface Transportation Board, rail carriers over whose rail lines Amtrak trains operate, States, Amtrak employees, nonprofit employee organizations representing Amtrak employees, and groups representing Amtrak passengers, as appropriate, develop new or improve existing metrics and minimum standards for measuring the performance and service quality of intercity passenger train operations, including cost recovery, on-time performance and minutes of delay, ridership, on-board services, stations, facilities, equipment, and other services. Such metrics, at a minimum, shall include the percentage of avoidable and fully allocated operating costs covered by passenger revenues on each route, ridership per train mile operated, measures of on-time performance and delays incurred by intercity passenger trains on the rail lines of each rail carrier and, for long-distance routes, measures of connectivity with other routes in all regions currently receiving Amtrak service and the transportation needs of communities and populations that are not well-served by other forms of intercity transportation. Amtrak shall provide reasonable access to the Federal Railroad Administration in order to enable the Administration to carry out its duty under this section.
“(b)Quarterly Reports.—
The Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration shall collect the necessary data and publish a quarterly report on the performance and service quality of intercity passenger train operations, including Amtrak’s cost recovery, ridership, on-time performance and minutes of delay, causes of delay, on-board services, stations, facilities, equipment, and other services.
“(c)Contracts With Host Rail Carriers.—
To the extent practicable, Amtrak and its host rail carriers shall incorporate the metrics and standards developed under subsection (a) into their access and service agreements.
“(d)Arbitration.—
If the development of the metrics and standards is not completed within the 180-day period required by subsection (a), any party involved in the development of those standards may petition the Surface Transportation Board to appoint an arbitrator to assist the parties in resolving their disputes through binding arbitration.
“SEC. 208.
METHODOLOGIES FOR AMTRAK ROUTE AND SERVICE PLANNING DECISIONS.
“(a)Methodology Development.—
Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of the Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act of 2015 [Dec. 4, 2015], Amtrak shall obtain the services of an independent entity to develop and recommend objective methodologies for Amtrak to use in determining what intercity rail passenger transportation routes and services it should provide, including the establishment of new routes, the elimination of existing routes, and the contraction or expansion of services or frequencies over such routes.
“(b)Considerations.—Amtrak shall require the independent entity, in developing the methodologies described in subsection (a), to consider—
“(1)
the current and expected performance and service quality of intercity rail passenger transportation operations, including cost recovery, on-time performance, ridership, on-board services, stations, facilities, equipment, and other services;
“(2)
the connectivity of a route with other routes;
“(3)
the transportation needs of communities and populations that are not well served by intercity rail passenger transportation service or by other forms of intercity transportation;
“(4)
the methodologies of Amtrak and major intercity rail passenger transportation service providers in other countries for determining intercity passenger rail routes and services;
“(5)
the financial and operational effects on the overall network, including the effects on direct and indirect costs;
“(6)
the views of States, rail carriers that own infrastructure over which Amtrak operates, Interstate Compacts established by Congress and States, Amtrak employee representatives, stakeholder organizations, and other interested parties; and
“(7)
the funding levels that will be available under authorization levels that have been enacted into law.
“(c)Recommendations.—
Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of the Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act of 2015 [Dec. 4, 2015], Amtrak shall transmit to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives the recommendations developed by the independent entity under subsection (a).
“(d)Consideration of Recommendations.—
Not later than 90 days after the date on which the recommendations are transmitted under subsection (c), the Amtrak Board of Directors shall consider the adoption of each recommendation and transmit to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives a report explaining the reasons for adopting or not adopting each recommendation.
“SEC. 209.
STATE-SUPPORTED ROUTES.
“(a)In General.—Within 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act [Oct. 16, 2008], the Amtrak Board of Directors, in consultation with the Secretary [of Transportation], the governors of each relevant State, and the Mayor of the District of Columbia, or entities representing those officials, shall develop and implement a single, nationwide standardized methodology for establishing and allocating the operating and capital costs among the States and Amtrak associated with trains operated on each of the routes described in section 24102(7)(B) and (D) [49 U.S.C. 24102(7)(B), (D)] and section 24702 [49 U.S.C. 24702] that—
“(1)
ensures, within 5 years after the date of enactment of this Act, equal treatment in the provision of like services of all States and groups of States (including the District of Columbia); and
“(2)
allocates to each route the costs incurred only for the benefit of that route and a proportionate share, based upon factors that reasonably reflect relative use, of costs incurred for the common benefit of more than 1 route.
“(b)Review.—
If Amtrak and the States (including the District of Columbia) in which Amtrak operates such routes do not voluntarily adopt and implement the methodology developed under subsection (a) in allocating costs and determining compensation for the provision of service in accordance with the date established therein, the Surface Transportation Board shall determine the appropriate methodology required under subsection (a) for such services in accordance with the procedures and procedural schedule applicable to a proceeding under section 24904(c) [now 24903(c)] of title 49, United States Code, and require the full implementation of this methodology with regards to the provision of such service within 1 year after the Board’s determination of the appropriate methodology.
“(c)Use of Chapter 244 Funds.—
Funds provided to a State under chapter 244 of title 49, United States Code, may be used, as provided in that chapter, to pay capital costs determined in accordance with this section.”

On-Board Service Improvements

Pub. L. 110–432, div. B, title II, § 222, Oct. 16, 2008, 122 Stat. 4932, provided that:

“(a)In General.—
Within 1 year after metrics and standards are established under section 207 of this division [set out above], Amtrak shall develop and implement a plan to improve on-board service pursuant to the metrics and standards for such service developed under that section.
“(b)Report.—
Amtrak shall provide a report to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate on the on-board service improvements proscribed in the plan and the timeline for implementing such improvements.”

Next Generation Corridor Train Equipment

Pub. L. 110–432, div. B, title III, § 305, Oct. 16, 2008, 122 Stat. 4951, as amended by Pub. L. 114–94, div. A, title XI, § 11315(b), Dec. 4, 2015, 129 Stat. 1675, provided that:

“(a)In General.—
Within 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act [Oct. 16, 2008], Amtrak shall establish a Next Generation Corridor Equipment Pool Committee, comprised of representatives of Amtrak, the Federal Railroad Administration, host freight railroad companies, passenger railroad equipment manufacturers, nonprofit organizations representing employees who perform overhaul and maintenance of passenger railroad equipment, interested States, and, as appropriate, other passenger railroad operators. The purpose of the Committee shall be to design, develop specifications for, and procure standardized next-generation corridor equipment.
“(b)Functions.—The Committee may—
“(1)
determine the number of different types of equipment required, taking into account variations in operational needs and corridor infrastructure;
“(2)
establish a pool of equipment to be used on corridor routes funded by participating States; and
“(3)
subject to agreements between Amtrak and States, utilize services provided by Amtrak to design, maintain and remanufacture equipment.
“(c)Cooperative Agreements.—
Amtrak and States participating in the Committee may enter into agreements for the funding, procurement, remanufacture, ownership, and management of corridor equipment, including equipment currently owned or leased by Amtrak and next-generation corridor equipment acquired as a result of the Committee’s actions.
“(d)Funding.—
In addition to the authorizations provided in this section, capital projects to carry out the purposes of this section shall be eligible for grants made pursuant to chapter 244 of title 49, United States Code.
“(e)Authorization of Appropriations.—
There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary [of Transportation] $5,000,000 for fiscal year 2010, to remain available until expended, for grants to Amtrak and States participating in the Next Generation Corridor Train Equipment Pool Committee established under this section for the purpose of designing, developing specifications for, and initiating the procurement of an initial order of 1 or more types of standardized next-generation corridor train equipment.”

Fair Competitive Bidding for State-Supported Intercity Rail Service

Pub. L. 108–447, div. H, title I, § 150, Dec. 8, 2004, 118 Stat. 3221, which provided that for the purpose of assisting State-supported intercity rail service, in order to demonstrate whether competition would provide higher quality rail passenger service at reasonable prices, the Secretary of Transportation, working with affected States, was to develop and implement a procedure for fair competitive bidding by Amtrak and non-Amtrak operators for State-supported routes, was from the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2005, and was not repeated in subsequent appropriation acts.

Similar provisions were contained in the following prior appropriation act:

Pub. L. 108–199, div. F, title I, § 151, Jan. 23, 2004, 118 Stat. 303.

Amtrak Findings

Pub. L. 105–134, § 2, Dec. 2, 1997, 111 Stat. 2571, provided that:

“The Congress finds that—
“(1)
intercity rail passenger service is an essential component of a national intermodal passenger transportation system;
“(2)
Amtrak is facing a financial crisis, with growing and substantial debt obligations severely limiting its ability to cover operating costs and jeopardizing its long-term viability;
“(3)
immediate action is required to improve Amtrak’s financial condition if Amtrak is to survive;
“(4)
all of Amtrak’s stakeholders, including labor, management, and the Federal Government, must participate in efforts to reduce Amtrak’s costs and increase its revenues;
“(5)
additional flexibility is needed to allow Amtrak to operate in a businesslike manner in order to manage costs and maximize revenues;
“(6)
Amtrak should ensure that new management flexibility produces cost savings without compromising safety;
“(7)
Amtrak’s management should be held accountable to ensure that all investment by the Federal Government and State governments is used effectively to improve the quality of service and the long-term financial health of Amtrak;
“(8)
Amtrak and its employees should proceed quickly with proposals to modify collective bargaining agreements to make more efficient use of manpower and to realize cost savings which are necessary to reduce Federal financial assistance;
“(9)
Amtrak and intercity bus service providers should work cooperatively and develop coordinated intermodal relationships promoting seamless transportation services which enhance travel options and increase operating efficiencies;
“(10) Amtrak’s Strategic Business Plan calls for the establishment of a dedicated source of capital funding for Amtrak in order to ensure that Amtrak will be able to fulfill the goals of maintaining—
“(A)
a national passenger rail system; and
“(B)
that system without Federal operating assistance; and
“(11)
Federal financial assistance to cover operating losses incurred by Amtrak should be eliminated by the year 2002.”

Fiscal Accountability

Pub. L. 105–134, title II, §§ 202–205, Dec. 2, 1997, 111 Stat. 2578–2582, as amended by Pub. L. 108–271, § 8(b), July 7, 2004, 118 Stat. 814; Pub. L. 110–432, div. B, title II, § 218(a)(2), Oct. 16, 2008, 122 Stat. 4930, provided that:

“SEC. 202.
INDEPENDENT ASSESSMENT.
“(a)Initiation.—
Not later than 15 days after the date of enactment of this Act [Dec. 2, 1997], the Secretary of Transportation shall contract with an entity independent of Amtrak and not in any contractual relationship with Amtrak, and independent of the Department of Transportation, to conduct a complete independent assessment of the financial requirements of Amtrak through fiscal year 2002. The entity shall have demonstrated knowledge about railroad industry accounting requirements, including the uniqueness of the industry and of Surface Transportation Board accounting requirements. The Department of Transportation, Office of Inspector General, shall approve the entity’s statement of work and the award and shall oversee the contract. In carrying out its responsibilities under the preceding sentence, the Inspector General’s Office shall perform such overview and validation or verification of data as may be necessary to assure that the assessment conducted under this subsection meets the requirements of this section.
“(b)Assessment Criteria.—
The Secretary and Amtrak shall provide to the independent entity estimates of the financial requirements of Amtrak for the period described in subsection (a), using as a base the fiscal year 1997 appropriation levels established by the Congress. The independent assessment shall be based on an objective analysis of Amtrak’s funding needs.
“(c)Certain Factors To Be Taken into Account.—The independent assessment shall take into account all relevant factors, including Amtrak’s—
“(1)
cost allocation process and procedures;
“(2)
expenses related to intercity rail passenger service, commuter service, and any other service Amtrak provides;
“(3)
Strategic Business Plan, including Amtrak’s projected expenses, capital needs, ridership, and revenue forecasts; and
“(4)
assets and liabilities.
For purposes of paragraph (3), in the capital needs part of its Strategic Business Plan Amtrak shall distinguish between that portion of the capital required for the Northeast Corridor and that required outside the Northeast Corridor, and shall include rolling stock requirements, including capital leases, ‘state of good repair’ requirements, and infrastructure improvements.
“(d) Bidding Practices.—
“(1)Study.—
The independent assessment also shall determine whether, and to what extent, Amtrak has performed each year during the period from 1992 through 1996 services under contract at amounts less than the cost to Amtrak of performing such services with respect to any activity other than the provision of intercity rail passenger transportation, or mail or express transportation. For purposes of this clause, the cost to Amtrak of performing services shall be determined using generally accepted accounting principles for contracting. If identified, such contracts shall be detailed in the report of the independent assessment, as well as the methodology for preparation of bids to reflect Amtrak’s actual cost of performance.
“(2)Reform.—
If the independent assessment performed under this subparagraph reveals that Amtrak has performed services under contract for an amount less than the cost to Amtrak of performing such services, with respect to any activity other than the provision of intercity rail passenger transportation, or mail or express transportation, then Amtrak shall revise its methodology for preparation of bids to reflect its cost of performance.
“(e)Deadline.—
The independent assessment shall be completed not later than 180 days after the contract is awarded, and shall be submitted to the Council established under section 203, the Secretary of Transportation, the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the United States Senate, and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the United States House of Representatives.
“SEC. 203.
AMTRAK REFORM COUNCIL.
“(a)Establishment.—
There is established an independent commission to be known as the Amtrak Reform Council.
“(b) Membership.—
“(1)In general.—The Council shall consist of 11 members, as follows:
“(A)
The Secretary of Transportation.
“(B) Two individuals appointed by the President, of which—
“(i)
one shall be a representative of a rail labor organization; and
“(ii)
one shall be a representative of rail management.
“(C)
Three individuals appointed by the Majority Leader of the United States Senate.
“(D)
One individual appointed by the Minority Leader of the United States Senate.
“(E)
Three individuals appointed by the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives.
“(F)
One individual appointed by the Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives.
“(2) Appointment criteria.—
“(A)Time for initial appointments.—
Appointments under paragraph (1) shall be made within 30 days after the date of enactment of this Act [Dec. 2, 1997].
“(B)Expertise.—Individuals appointed under subparagraphs (C) through (F) of paragraph (1)—
“(i)
may not be employees of the United States;
“(ii)
may not be board members or employees of Amtrak;
“(iii)
may not be representatives of rail labor organizations or rail management; and
“(iv)
shall have technical qualifications, professional standing, and demonstrated expertise in the field of corporate management, finance, rail or other transportation operations, labor, economics, or the law, or other areas of expertise relevant to the Council.
“(3)Term.—
Members shall serve for terms of 5 years. If a vacancy occurs other than by the expiration of a term, the individual appointed to fill the vacancy shall be appointed in the same manner as, and shall serve only for the unexpired portion of the term for which, that individual’s predecessor was appointed.
“(4)Chairman.—The Council shall elect a chairman from among its membership within 15 days after the earlier of—
“(A)
the date on which all members of the Council have been appointed under paragraph (2)(A); or
“(B)
45 days after the date of enactment of this Act.
“(5)Majority required for action.—
A majority of the members of the Council present and voting is required for the Council to take action. No person shall be elected chairman of the Council who receives fewer than 5 votes.
“(c)Administrative Support.—
The Secretary of Transportation shall provide such administrative support to the Council as it needs in order to carry out its duties under this section.
“(d)Travel Expenses.—
Each member of the Council shall serve without pay, but shall receive travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, in accordance with section[s] 5702 and 5703 of title 5, United States Code.
“(e)Meetings.—
Each meeting of the Council, other than a meeting at which proprietary information is to be discussed, shall be open to the public.
“(f)Access to Information.—
Amtrak shall make available to the Council all information the Council requires to carry out its duties under this section. The Council shall establish appropriate procedures to ensure against the public disclosure of any information obtained under this subsection that is a trade secret or commercial or financial information that is privileged or confidential.
“(g) Duties.—
“(1)Evaluation and recommendation.—The Council shall—
“(A)
evaluate Amtrak’s performance; and
“(B)
make recommendations to Amtrak for achieving further cost containment and productivity improvements, and financial reforms.
“(2)Specific considerations.—In making its evaluation and recommendations under paragraph (1), the Council shall consider all relevant performance factors, including—
“(A)
Amtrak’s operation as a national passenger rail system which provides access to all regions of the country and ties together existing and emerging rail passenger corridors;
“(B)
appropriate methods for adoption of uniform cost and accounting procedures throughout the Amtrak system, based on generally accepted accounting principles; and
“(C)
management efficiencies and revenue enhancements, including savings achieved through labor and contracting negotiations.
“(3)Monitor work-rule savings.—If, after January 1, 1997, Amtrak enters into an agreement involving work-rules intended to achieve savings with an organization representing Amtrak employees, then Amtrak shall report quarterly to the Council—
“(A)
the savings realized as a result of the agreement; and
“(B)
how the savings are allocated.
“(h)Annual Report.—Each year before the fifth anniversary of the date of enactment of this Act [Dec. 2, 1997], the Council shall submit to the Congress a report that includes an assessment of—
“(1)
Amtrak’s progress on the resolution of productivity issues; or
“(2)
the status of those productivity issues,
and makes recommendations for improvements and for any changes in law it believes to be necessary or appropriate.
“(i)Authorization of Appropriations.—
There are authorized to be appropriated to the Council such sums as may be necessary to enable the Council to carry out its duties.

“[SECS. 204, 205. Repealed. Pub. L. 110–432, div. B, title II, § 218(a)(2), Oct. 16, 2008, 122 Stat. 4930.]”

Limitation on Use of Tax Refund

Pub. L. 105–134, title II, § 209, Dec. 2, 1997, 111 Stat. 2584, provided that:

“(a)In General.—Amtrak may not use any amount received under section 977 of the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 [Pub. L. 105–34, 26 U.S.C. 172 note]—
“(1)
for any purpose other than making payments to non-Amtrak States (pursuant to section 977(c) of that Act), or the financing of qualified expenses (as that term is defined in section 977(e)(1) of that Act); or
“(2)
to offset other amounts used for any purpose other than the financing of such expenses.
“(b)Report by ARC.—
The Amtrak Reform Council shall report quarterly to the Congress on the use of amounts received by Amtrak under section 977 of the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997.”

Interstate Rail Compacts

Pub. L. 105–134, title IV, § 410, Dec. 2, 1997, 111 Stat. 2587, provided that:

“(a)Consent to Compacts.—Congress grants consent to States with an interest in a specific form, route, or corridor of intercity passenger rail service (including high speed rail service) to enter into interstate compacts to promote the provision of the service, including—
“(1)
retaining an existing service or commencing a new service;
“(2)
assembling rights-of-way; and
“(3) performing capital improvements, including—
“(A)
the construction and rehabilitation of maintenance facilities;
“(B)
the purchase of locomotives; and
“(C)
operational improvements, including communications, signals, and other systems.
“(b)Financing.—An interstate compact established by States under subsection (a) may provide that, in order to carry out the compact, the States may—
“(1)
accept contributions from a unit of State or local government or a person;
“(2)
use any Federal or State funds made available for intercity passenger rail service (except funds made available for Amtrak);
“(3) on such terms and conditions as the States consider advisable—
“(A)
borrow money on a short-term basis and issue notes for the borrowing; and
“(B)
issue bonds; and
“(4)
obtain financing by other means permitted under Federal or State law.”

Definition

Pub. L. 110–432, div. B, § 3, Oct. 16, 2008, 122 Stat. 4908, provided that:

“In this division [see Short Title of 2008 Amendment note set out under section 20101 of this title], the term ‘Secretary’ means the Secretary of Transportation.”

 

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