AAF Issue Brief – Reciprocal Switching: Re-regulation at the STB?

Much of the talk surrounding regulatory policy in the Trump Administration era has centered around deregulation. At one agency, however, a significant proposal may soon be up for debate that could lead to a different result: re-regulation.

In an April 10th, 2018 issue brief from the American Action Forum, Dan Bosch, Director of Regulatory Policy, notably concludes:

“The deregulation of rate setting in the freight rail industry has been beneficial to the industry, shippers, and consumers as rates have dropped and volumes have increased. Justification for the STB’s 2016 reciprocal switching proposal seems to stem from the fact that the agency has not forced reciprocal switching on railroads since 1985. This fact alone does not necessarily warrant regulatory action. Accordingly, the STB should conduct a thorough analysis of its 2016 proposal before it acts to restrict the market by making it easier for the Board to impose switching requirements on freight railroads.”

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