(Washington, D.C.) – Yesterday, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved a ‘Motion to Instruct’ (MTI) introduced by Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), member of the Senator Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, to urge Senate conferees working on the surface transportation legislation to insist that the final conferenced bill include funding for railroads to install and implement critical safety technology, specifically Positive Train Control (PTC).
“Too many lives have been lost because of the delay in getting PTC on our rails, and it is unacceptable that any transportation measure will be devoid of provisions to prevent additional deaths. It is outrageous that the House version of this critical legislation fails to provide railroads with necessary funds to install life-saving technology. The Senate sent a strong, bipartisan message yesterday that as the long-term surface transportation legislation is negotiated and finalized, vital rail safety reforms absolutely must be included.”
In July, the Senate took action to address the unacceptable lack of critical safety technology in our nation’s rail systems by passing a long-term surface transportation bill that advances a host of important reforms that will improve safety on our rails, including a provision authorizing $199 million for railroads to install and implement PTC. Last week, the House of Representatives passed its version of a long-term surface transportation bill that did not include any provisions to improve rail safety.