WASHINGTON, D.C. – May 19, 2021 – Association of American Railroads President and CEO Ian Jefferies applauded the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Republicans release of their surface transportation reauthorization legislation and called for committee members to continue good faith negotiations about meeting the nation’s evolving infrastructure needs. Specifically, the newly introduced Surface Transportation Advanced through Reform, Technology, & Efficient Review (STARTER) Act 2.0 would invest more than $400 billion over five years and advance other key policies to address the long-term solvency of the Highway Trust Fund.

“Consensus around the need for significant, forward-looking infrastructure investments continues to gain speed. The newly introduced STARTER Act 2.0 is a thoughtful effort to responsibly address our current funding challenges, improve project delivery and make meaningful progress on a vehicle-miles-traveled fee, which could provide more sustainable funding for the Highway Trust Fund. Railroads encourage members of Congress and the administration to keep working toward a bipartisan solution that will help our economy compete today and in the future.”

Railroads have long supported restoring the Highway Trust Fund to a user-pays system and moving longer-term to a system that accounts for all users’ impact on the infrastructure they use such as a vehicle-miles-traveled (VMT) fee. The STARTER Act 2.0 encourages additional states to launch VMT pilot programs and builds on the success of existing programs. The legislation would also enhance data collection and analysis to aid discussions about implementing a national VMT program in the future.

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For more information contact: AAR Media Relations at [email protected] or 202-639-2345.

About AAR: The AAR is the world’s leading railroad policy, research and technology organization focusing on the safety and productivity of rail carriers. AAR members include the major freight railroads of the U.S., Canada and Mexico, as well as Amtrak.

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