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DeFazio, Payne ask GAO to examine PSR’s impacts

U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) chairs the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
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(Source: Progressive Railroading 05/18/2021)

U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) and Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Chairman Donald Payne Jr. (D-N.J.) are seeking a Government Accountability Office (GAO) study of the impacts that precision scheduled railroading (PSR) is having on workers, safety, freight shippers, passenger railroads and the long-term management of the nation’s railroads.

The lawmakers said there are concerns that the rise of the PSR model has come at the expense of long-term capital investments, reduced rail infrastructure, affected service for some shippers, and potential layoffs and safety issues.

“PSR in practice means the bottom line drives the decisions,” said DeFazio said in a press release. “Longer trains, unhappy shippers, and a workforce pushed to do more with less is not a model to chase after — unless you’re on Wall Street. But we can’t let hedge fund managers write the rules of railroading.”

DeFazio noted that in the last Congress, the committee heard from stakeholders concerned about the impact of PSR. The latest GAO study would address the PSR impacts on workers, shippers, passenger railroads and rail safety, he added.

DeFazio and Payne’s letter to the GAO may be read here.

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