The Truck Size and Weight Limit Issue National Association of Counties 2011 Rail Conference April 28, 2011
This Presentation will Cover: • A brief introduction to Genesee & Wyoming Inc. • Where we are with the Truck Size and Weight Issue • What we can do now on TSW
A very brief introduction to Genesee & Wyoming Inc. • Listed on New York Stock Exchange (“GWR”) with a market capitalization of $2.4 billion • Approximately 2,500 employees • Own 63 railroads in the United States, Canada, Australia and the Netherlands • Approximately 9,000 miles of track with 570 locomotives
Genesee & Wyoming dates back to 1899 as an “original” short line railroad. 1899
Our Core Purpose To be the safest and most respected rail service provider in the world.
Safety is a Responsibility of Everyone at GWI 0 Injuries 1 4 2 3 0.51 GWI 1.4 Class I (e.g., BNSF, CSX, NS, UP) 3.2 FRA Group 2 (Medium railroads, e.g., DM&E, Florida East Coast,Montana Rail Link, NJ Transit) FRA Group 3 3.9 (U.S. short line railroads) 2010 Injury Frequency Rate per 200,000 man hours worked
Truck Size and Weight Issue • Thank you for the NACo resolution supporting SHIPA in the 111th Congress • This issue has taken on a very high level of activity so far in 2011
Momentum on TSW turned against us so far in this new Congress. • HR.763, introduced by Cong. Michaud (D-ME) on February 17, with 36 co-sponsors. Co-sponsorship is bipartisan and includes freshmen Republicans. Bill would allow states to increase truck weight limits on federal highways from 80,000 lbs. to 97,000 lbs. • HR.801, introduced by Cong. Cravaack (R-MN) on February 18, with 8 co-sponsors. Bill would allow states to increase truck weight limits on federal highways from 80,000 lbs. to 99,000 lbs. • S.747, sponsored by Sen. Crapo (R-ID), with three co-sponsors. Identical to HR.763. • HR.1574, introduced by Cong. James McGovern (D-MA) on April 15, with 6 co-sponsors. This is a reintroduced SHIPA bill that would freeze current TSW limits on federal highways.
At the state level, significant TSW activity during the first several months of 2011. 30 different legislative actions that would increase TSW limits in 24 states. Results in defeating these actions have been mixed, with several noticeable losses.
This week brings a brand new TSW threat, from AASHTO. • Calls for federal government to “let states decide” • Would allow both 100,000 lb trucks and LCV everywhere • Resolution itself recognizes that there are many unanswered questions and issues
Why this is so important to freight railroads? • A massive risk of lost of current and future rail freight traffic • Size by exhaustive, comprehensive diversion studies of railroad shipments in 2007 and 2010 • Driven by a largely hidden but very real tremendous increase in truck subsidies, as confirmed by USDOT and GAO • Traffic loss could impact smallest freight railroads most significantly, making their future very questionable.
This is a “Perfect Storm” of a massive unfunded mandate on county governments. • SAFETEA-LU provided an unsustainable level of expenditures that few think will continue without massive new taxes • States do not seem to want meaning increases in user fees for bigger trucks • CAFÉ standards will push fuel tax receipts continuously down • Handling this issue like the AASHTO resolution fully represent a “divide and conquer” approach to getting bigger trucks everywhere
What can be done? • Aggressive and immediate engagement with the head of state DOTs, pushing them to reject the AASHTO TSW Resolution • Campaigning both federal and state elected officials, making clear that further increases in TSW limits, either at the federal or state levels, is fully unacceptable