Summary: S.1961 — 108th Congress (2003-2004)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.1961. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Introduced in Senate (11/25/2003)

American Railroad Revitalization, Investment, and Enhancement Act of the 21st Century, or the Arrive 21 Act - Directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to assess and develop prioritized recommendations regarding the security risks associated with freight and intercity passenger rail transportation.

Amends Federal transportation law with respect to: (1) Federal rail policy; (2) establishment of a rail cooperative research program; (3) State rail plans; (4) interstate railroad passenger high-speed transportation policy; (5) high-speed rail corridor planning; (6) rehabilitation, improvement, and security financing; (7) creations of a 50-year Intermodal Blueprint; and (8) the National Railroad Passenger Transportation (Amtrak) system.

Designates specified high-speed rail corridors.

Prohibits the Secretary of Transportation (Secretary) from collecting payments for a specified direct loan to Amtrak.

Directs the Secretary of the Treasury to work with the Secretary to restructure Amtrak's long-term debt and capital leases. Prohibits Amtrak from contracting new secured debt.

Repeals self-sufficiency requirements for Amtrak.

Directs the Secretary of the Treasury annually to pay the equivalent of excess railroad retirement benefits to the Railroad Retirement Account with respect to Amtrak retirees.

Authorizes appropriations for environmental compliance and station improvements, tunnel life safety, and Amtrak capital and operating expenses.

Prescribes general procedures for: (1) establishment of an Amtrak grant process; and (2) development of an Amtrak five-year financial plan.

Directs the Amtrak Board of Directors to develop a formula for equitable and fair funding of the operating costs of trains operating on routes of 750 miles or less (State-supported routes).

Re-establishes the Northeast Corridor Safety Committee.

Amends Federal transportation law to revise requirements for: (1) the Amtrak Board; and (2) intercity passenger train on-time performance and other standards.

Requires establishment of a system for financial accounting of Amtrak operations by an independent auditor.

Directs the Secretary to contract with an independent auditor or consultant to establish methodologies for Amtrak route and service planning decisions.

Directs the Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration to develop new or improve existing metrics and minimum standards for measuring the service quality of intercity train operations.

Establishes a nonprofit and nonpolitical Rail Infrastructure Finance Corporation (RIFC) to provide financial support for rail transportation capital projects through issuance of qualified rail infrastructure bonds. Requires the RIFC Board of Directors to establish a Rail Infrastructure Finance Trust.

Authorizes the RIFC Board to establish: (1) an intercity passenger rail development grant program; and (2) a high priority projects grant program.

Requires the RIFC Board to establish a freight rail infrastructure development grant program.

Deems any person conducting rail operations over rail infrastructure constructed or improved with RIFC grant funds to be an employer for Railroad Retirement Act of 1974 purposes and a carrier for Railway Labor Act purposes. Requires collective bargaining agreements meeting specified criteria between any entity replacing another intercity passenger railroad service provider and the employees of the predecessor provider.