Did you know Amtrak’s new nonstop Acela service between Washington and New York connects two of the nation’s most powerful cities in 2 hours and 35 minutes? The corridor, with more than 55 million people and $2.6 trillion in economic activity, is a booming epicenter for the United States, making rail travel key to addressing traffic congestion.

RPS blog Amtrak

On the other side of the country, a fast-acting Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) transportation supervisor recently rescued a man by pulling him off the crowded tracks just a split second before an oncoming train hit him. The dramatic scene unfolded at the BART station at the Oakland RingCentral Coliseum after an NFL game.

Billions spent on train infrastructure projects and maintenance overhauls have translated into better service that is bringing back passenger rail customers. The Senate Appropriations Committee just passed an $86.6 billion Fiscal Year 2020 transportation funding bill—$58 million of which went to increased funding for Amtrak. The bill was approved by a vote of 31–0, signaling a strong show of bipartisan support.

“This legislation will support job creation and economic development [and] allow us to make critical improvements to our infrastructure,” said Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine), chair of the Senate Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee.

The time is definitely ripe for a Passenger Rail Seminar to explore the legal, financial, safety, and environmental nuances underpinning the passenger rail system in the United States. The  Transportation and Transportation Security Law Section is thrilled to host its inaugural Passenger Rail Seminar on Nov. 15 in Washington, D.C. This full-day seminar is designed for both new and experienced attorneys to better understand the essential legal policies and principles for the passenger rail industry.  Secure your spot today! Register now at www.fedbar.org/rail19.

This all-encompassing Passenger Rail Seminar is not limited to lawyers. Those professionals involved in administration, operations, planning, finance, property, environmental management, or security for passenger rail or transit services will benefit greatly from panelists who will facilitate an interactive environment for attendees to further their professional accreditation and network with industry peers.

The U.S. train system is on a roll with passenger ridership. Ridership on Amtrak—the primary U.S. carrier—is now at record levels and growing fast. Americans took 2.5 billion passenger trips on public transportation in the second quarter of 2019—11 million more trips than during the same period last year, according to the latest report by the American Public Transportation Association.

Subway ridership has swelled nationwide, too. Some states, including California, Minnesota, and Washington, showed significant gains in light-rail ridership. Commuter rail systems in Florida, Denver, and New York also had big increases.

American passenger rail is in the midst of a renaissance. With ridership expansion comes important questions about the legal, safety, financial, and environmental rules and regulations surrounding passenger rail travel.

Attend the Passenger Rail Seminar on Nov. 15 in Washington, D.C., at the FHI 360 Conference Center to learn about improvements to the safety, efficacy, and reliability of passenger rail systems.  Panelists from both the private and public sector will discuss these breaking news stories and other issues that affect passenger rail systems. Panels will cover such key topics as railbanking, funding and financing, rail transactions, regulatory systems and safety, and rail law 101. Sign up now at www.fedbar.org/rail19 for the Passenger Rail Seminar!

RPS blog Grand Central


About the Author

Stacy Slotnick, Esq. holds a J.D., cum laude, from Touro Law Center and a B.A., summa cum laude, from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She performs a broad range of duties as an entertainment lawyer, including drafting and negotiating contracts; addressing and litigating trademark, copyright, patent, and other IP issues; and directing the strategy and implementation of public relations, blogging, and social media campaigns.

About the FBA

Founded in 1920, the Federal Bar Association is dedicated to the advancement of the science of jurisprudence and to promoting the welfare, interests, education, and professional development of all attorneys involved in federal law. Our more than 16,000 members run the gamut of federal practice: attorneys practicing in small to large legal firms, attorneys in corporations and federal agencies, and members of the judiciary. The FBA is the catalyst for communication between the bar and the bench, as well as the private and public sectors. Visit us at fedbar.org to learn more.