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NARUC Transportation Task Force Releases Rail and Motor Carrier Report

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For Immediate Release: February 22, 2017
Contact: Regina L. Davis, 202-898-9382,


NARUC Transportation Task Force Releases Rail and Motor Carrier Report

WASHINGTON—The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners has released comprehensive research on transportation issues. Report of the NARUC Task Force on Transportation is the work of a multi-state task force, established in January 2016 by then-president Travis Kavulla. Co-chaired by Commissioner Ann Rendahl, of the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission, and Chairman Gladys Brown, of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, the group reviewed critical aspects of rail and motor carrier transportation regulation.

The Task Force on Transportation was created due to recent developments in transportation facing NARUC member states, including:  (1) the growth of Transportation Network Companies, such as Uber and Lyft, and questions over the nature and level of state regulation of TNC services; and (2) the increase in crude oil shipments by rail and related derailments, resulting in a heightened interest in the role of states in regulating railroad safety.

The final report contains two sections to address each of these issues. The motor carrier portion of the report provides an overview of state rules and regulatory authority over TNCs. The goal of this section is to provide state commissions with a better understanding of options available for regulating TNCs so this innovative service can flourish while, at the same time, protections are in place to ensure that the traveling public is safe. 

The rail section of the report presents a summary of the history of state and federal regulation of railroad safety, a description of the federal agencies with responsibility for regulation of the railroad industry, best practices for state rail programs, as well as a brief description and discussion of railroad safety issues important to the states.  The report was approved by the NARUC Board of Directors at the 2017 winter meeting, held in Washington, D.C., February 12-15.

“I commend Commissioner Rendahl and Chairman Brown for their excellent leadership on these important transportation issues,” said NARUC President Robert F. Powelson of Pennsylvania. “The research provided by the task force is detailed, thorough and addresses the questions that concern regulators and stakeholders alike. The association is grateful for the work of this team and hopes that research conducted by the task force will be a valuable resource for state commissions.”  

NARUC has a deep connection with transportation regulation. In 1889, it was originally established as the National Association of Railroad and Utilities Commissioners. NARUC was also instrumental in the passage of the Unified Carrier Registration Act of 2005.

The complete report is available on NARUC’s website at


NARUC is a non-profit organization founded in 1889 whose members include the governmental agencies that are engaged in the regulation of utilities and carriers in the fifty States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. NARUC's member agencies regulate telecommunications, energy, and water utilities. NARUC represents the interests of State public utility commissions before the three branches of the Federal government.