49 U.S. Code § 24711 - Alternate passenger rail service pilot program
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(a) In General.— Within 1 year after the date of enactment of the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008, the Federal Railroad Administration shall complete a rulemaking proceeding to develop a pilot program that—
(1) permits a rail carrier or rail carriers that own infrastructure over which Amtrak operates a passenger rail service route described in subparagraph (B), (C), or (D) of section 24102 (5) or in section 24702 to petition the Administration to be considered as a passenger rail service provider over that route in lieu of Amtrak for a period not to exceed 5 years after the date of enactment of the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008;
(2) requires the Administration to notify Amtrak within 30 days after receiving a petition under paragraph (1) and establish a deadline by which both the petitioner and Amtrak would be required to submit a bid to provide passenger rail service over the route to which the petition relates;
(3) requires that each bid describe how the bidder would operate the route, what Amtrak passenger equipment would be needed, if any, what sources of non-Federal funding the bidder would use, including any State subsidy, among other things;
(4) requires the Administration to select winning bidders by evaluating the bids against the financial and performance metrics developed under section 207 of the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 and to give preference in awarding contracts to bidders seeking to operate routes that have been identified as one of the five worst performing Amtrak routes under section 24710;
(5) requires the Administration to execute a contract within a specified, limited time after the deadline established under paragraph (2) and award to the winning bidder—
(A) the right and obligation to provide passenger rail service over that route subject to such performance standards as the Administration may require, consistent with the standards developed under section 207 of the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008; and
(6) requires that each bid contain a staffing plan describing the number of employees needed to operate the service, the job assignments and requirements, and the terms of work for prospective and current employees of the bidder for the service outlined in the bid, and such staffing plan be made available by the winning bidder to the public after the bid award.
(b) Route Limitations.— The Administration may not make the program available with respect to more than 2 Amtrak intercity passenger rail routes.
(c) Performance Standards; Access to Facilities; Employees.— If the Administration awards the right and obligation to provide passenger rail service over a route under the program to a rail carrier or rail carriers—
(1) it shall execute a contract with the rail carrier or rail carriers for rail passenger operations on that route that conditions the operating and subsidy rights upon—
(A) the service provider continuing to provide passenger rail service on the route that is no less frequent, nor over a shorter distance, than Amtrak provided on that route before the award; and
(2) it shall, if the award is made to a rail carrier other than Amtrak, require Amtrak to provide access to its reservation system, stations, and facilities directly related to operations to any rail carrier or rail carriers awarded a contract under this section, in accordance with section 217 of that Act, necessary to carry out the purposes of this section;
(3) the employees of any person used by a rail carrier or rail carriers (as defined in section 10102 (5) of this title) in the operation of a route under this section shall be considered an employee of that carrier or carriers and subject to the applicable Federal laws and regulations governing similar crafts or classes of employees of Amtrak, including provisions under section 121 of the Amtrak Reform and Accountability Act of 1997 relating to employees that provide food and beverage service; and
(4) the winning bidder shall provide hiring preference to qualified Amtrak employees displaced by the award of the bid, consistent with the staffing plan submitted by the bidder and shall be subject to the grant conditions under section 24405 of this title.
(d) Cessation of Service.— If a rail carrier or rail carriers awarded a route under this section cease to operate the service or fail to fulfill their obligations under the contract required under subsection (c), the Administrator, in collaboration with the Surface Transportation Board, shall take any necessary action consistent with this title to enforce the contract and ensure the continued provision of service, including the installment of an interim service provider and re-bidding the contract to operate the service. The entity providing service shall either be Amtrak or a rail carrier defined in subsection (a)(1).
Source(Added Pub. L. 110–432, div. B, title II, § 214(a),Oct. 16, 2008, 122 Stat. 4927.)
References in Text
The date of enactment of the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008, referred to in subsec. (a), is the date of enactment of div. B of Pub. L. 110–432, which was approved Oct. 16, 2008.
Section 207 of the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008, referred to in subsecs. (a)(4), (5)(A), and (c)(1)(B), is section 207 ofPub. L. 110–432, which is set out in a note under section 24101 of this title.
Section 217 of that Act, referred to in subsec. (c)(2), is section 217 ofPub. L. 110–432, which is set out as a note under section 24702 of this title.
Section 121 of the Amtrak Reform and Accountability Act of 1997, referred to in subsec. (c)(3), is section 121 ofPub. L. 105–134, which amended section 24312 of this title and enacted provisions set out as a note under section 24312 of this title.
Deemed References to Chapters 509 and 511 of Title 51
General references to “this title” deemed to refer also to chapters 509 and 511 of Title 51, National and Commercial Space Programs, see section 4(d)(8) ofPub. L. 111–314, set out as a note under section 101 of this title.
Employee Transition Assistance
“(a) Provision of Financial Incentives.—For Amtrak employees who are adversely affected by the cessation of the operation of a long-distance route or any other route under section 24711 of title 49, United States Code, previously operated by Amtrak, the Secretary [of Transportation] shall develop a program under which the Secretary may, at the Secretary’s discretion, provide grants for financial incentives to be provided to Amtrak employees who voluntarily terminate their employment with Amtrak and relinquish any legal rights to receive termination-related payments under any contractual agreement with Amtrak.
“(b) Conditions for Financial Incentives.—As a condition for receiving financial assistance grants under this section, Amtrak must certify that—
“(1) a reasonable attempt was made to reassign an employee adversely affected under section 24711 of title 49, United States Code, or by the elimination of any route, to other positions within Amtrak in accordance with any contractual agreements;
“(2) the financial assistance results in a net reduction in the total number of employees equal to the number receiving financial incentives;
“(3) the financial assistance results in a net reduction in total employment expense equivalent to the total employment expenses associated with the employees receiving financial incentives; and
“(4) the total number of employees eligible for termination-related payments will not be increased without the express written consent of the Secretary.
“(c) Amount of Financial Incentives.—The financial incentives authorized under this section may be no greater than $100,000 per employee.
“(d) Authorization of Appropriations.—There are hereby authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary such sums as may be necessary to make grants to Amtrak to provide financial incentives under subsection (a).
“(e) Termination-Related Payments.—If Amtrak employees adversely affected by the cessation of Amtrak service resulting from the awarding of a grant to an operator other than Amtrak for the operation of a route under section 24711 of title 49, United States Code, or any other route, previously operated by Amtrak do not receive financial incentives under subsection (a), then the Secretary shall make grants to Amtrak from funds authorized by section 101 of this division [122 Stat. 4908] for termination-related payments to employees under existing contractual agreements.”