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e-CFR data is current as of March 1, 2021

Title 49Subtitle BChapter II → Part 273


Title 49: Transportation


PART 273—METRICS AND MINIMUM STANDARDS FOR INTERCITY PASSENGER TRAIN OPERATIONS


Contents
§273.1   Purpose.
§273.3   Definitions.
§273.5   On-time performance and train delays.
§273.7   Customer service.
§273.9   Financial.
§273.11   Public benefits.

Authority: Sec. 207, Div. B, Pub. L. 110-432; 49 U.S.C. 24101, note; 49 U.S.C. 103(j); 49 CFR 1.81; 49 CFR 1.88; and 49 CFR 1.89.

Source: 85 FR 73000, Nov. 16, 2020, unless otherwise noted.

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§273.1   Purpose.

The purpose of this part is to establish metrics and minimum standards for measuring the performance and service quality of intercity passenger train operations.

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§273.3   Definitions.

As used in this part—

Actual running time means the actual elapsed travel time of a train's travel on a host railroad, between the departure time at the first reporting point for a host railroad segment and the arrival time at the reporting point at the end of the host railroad segment.

Adjusted operating expenses means Amtrak's operating expenses adjusted to exclude certain Amtrak expenses that are not considered core to operating the business. The major exclusions are depreciation, capital project related expenditures not eligible for capitalization, non-cash portion of pension and post-retirement benefits, and Amtrak's Office of Inspector General expenses. Adjusted operating expenses do not include any operating expenses for State-supported routes that are paid for separately by States.

Adjusted operating revenue means Amtrak's operating revenue adjusted to exclude certain revenue that is associated with capital projects. The major exclusions are the amortization of State capital payments and capital project revenue related to expenses not eligible for capitalization.

Amtrak means the National Railroad Passenger Corporation.

Amtrak's customer satisfaction survey means a market-research survey that measures Amtrak's satisfaction score as measured by specific service attributes that cover the entire customer journey.

Amtrak-responsible delays means delays recorded by Amtrak, in accordance with Amtrak procedures, as Amtrak-responsible delays, including passenger-related delays at stations, Amtrak equipment failures, holding for connections, injuries, initial terminal delays, servicing delays, crew and system delays, and other miscellaneous Amtrak-responsible delays.

Avoidable operating costs means costs incurred by Amtrak to operate train service along a route that would no longer be incurred if the route were no longer operated.

Certified schedule means a published train schedule that Amtrak and the host railroad jointly certify is aligned with the customer on-time performance metric and standard in §273.5(a)(1) and (2). If a published train schedule is reported as a certified schedule under §273.5(c)(1), then it cannot later be designated as an uncertified schedule.

Disputed schedule means:

(1) A published train schedule for which a specific change is sought:

(i) That is the only subject of a non-binding dispute resolution process led by a neutral third-party and involving Amtrak and one or more host railroads;

(ii) That is the only subject of a non-binding dispute resolution process led by a neutral third-party that has been initiated by one or more host railroads and Amtrak has not consented to participate in the process within 30 calendar days; or

(iii) That is the only subject of a non-binding dispute resolution process led by a neutral third-party that has been initiated by Amtrak and the host railroad has not consented to participate in the process within 30 calendar days.

(2) The written decision resulting from a non-binding dispute resolution process is admissible in Surface Transportation Board investigations under 49 U.S.C. 24308(f). If a published train schedule is reported as a disputed schedule under §273.5(c)(1), then it remains a disputed schedule until reported as a certified schedule.

Fully allocated core operating costs means Amtrak's total costs associated with operating an Amtrak route, including direct operating expenses, a portion of shared expenses, and a portion of corporate overhead expenses. Fully allocated core operating costs exclude ancillary and other expenses that are not directly reimbursed by passenger revenue to match revenues with expenses.

Host railroad means a railroad that is directly accountable to Amtrak by agreement for Amtrak operations over a railroad line segment. Amtrak is a host railroad of Amtrak trains and other trains operating over an Amtrak owned or controlled railroad line segment. For purposes of the certified schedule metric under §273.5(c), Amtrak is not a host railroad.

Host-responsible delays means delays recorded by Amtrak, in accordance with Amtrak procedures, as host-responsible delays, including freight train interference, slow orders, signals, routing, maintenance of way, commuter train interference, passenger train interference, catenary or wayside power system failure, and detours.

Not well-served communities means those rural communities: Within 25 miles of an intercity passenger rail station; more than 75 miles from a large airport; and more than 25 miles from any other airport with scheduled commercial service or an intercity bus stop.

Passenger revenue means intercity passenger rail revenue generated from passenger train operations, including ticket revenue, food and beverage sales, operating payments collected from States or other sponsoring entities, special trains, and private car operations.

Ridership data means, in a machine-readable format: The total number of passengers, by train and by day; the station-specific number of detraining passengers, reported by host railroad whose railroad right-of-way serves the station, by train, and by day; and the station-specific number of on-time passengers reported by host railroad whose railroad right-of-way serves the station, by train, and by day.

Scheduled running time means the scheduled duration of a train's travel on a host railroad, as set forth in the Amtrak schedule skeleton.

Schedule skeleton means a schedule grid used by Amtrak and host railroads to communicate the public schedule of an Amtrak train and the schedule of operations of an Amtrak train on host railroads.

Third party delays means delays recorded by Amtrak, in accordance with Amtrak procedures, as third party delays, including bridge strikes, debris strikes, customs, drawbridge openings, police-related delays, trespassers, vehicle strikes, utility company delays, weather-related delays (including heat or cold orders, storms, floods/washouts, earthquake-related delays, slippery rail due to leaves, flash-flood warnings, wayside defect detector actuations caused by ice, and high-wind restrictions), acts of God, or waiting for scheduled departure time.

Uncertified schedule means a published train schedule that has not been reported as a certified schedule or a disputed schedule under §273.5(c)(1).

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§273.5   On-time performance and train delays.

(a) Customer on-time performance—(1) Metric. The customer on-time performance metric is the percentage of all customers on an intercity passenger rail train who arrive at their detraining point no later than 15 minutes after their published scheduled arrival time, reported by train and by route.

(2) Standard. The customer on-time performance minimum standard is 80 percent for any 2 consecutive calendar quarters.

(3) Application. (i) Except as provided in paragraph (a)(3)(ii) of this section, the customer on-time performance standard shall apply to a train beginning on the first full calendar quarter after May 17, 2021.

(ii) If a train schedule is a disputed schedule on or before May 17, 2021, then the customer on-time performance standard for the disputed schedule shall apply beginning on the second full calendar quarter after May 17, 2021.

(b) Ridership data. The ridership data metric is the number of host railroads to whom Amtrak has provided ridership data consistent with this paragraph (b), reported by host railroad and by month. Not later than December 16, 2020, Amtrak must provide host railroad-specific ridership data to each host railroad for the preceding 24 months. On the 15th day of every month following December 16, 2020, Amtrak must provide host railroad-specific ridership data to each host railroad for the preceding month.

(c) Certified schedule—(1) Metric. The certified schedule metric is the number of certified schedules, uncertified schedules, and disputed schedules, reported by train, by route, and by host railroad (excluding switching and terminal railroads), identified in a notice to the Federal Railroad Administrator by Amtrak:

(i) On December 16, 2020;

(ii) On January 19, 2021;

(iii) On February 16, 2021;

(iv) On March 16, 2021;

(v) On April 16, 2021;

(vi) On May 17, 2021;

(vii) On November 16, 2021; and

(viii) Every 12 months after November 16, 2021.

(2) Reporting. If a train schedule is reported as a an uncertified schedule under paragraph (c)(1)(vi), (vii), or (viii) of this section, then Amtrak and the host railroad must transmit a joint letter and status report on the first of each month following the report, signed by their respective chief executive officers to each U.S. Senator and U.S. Representative whose district is served by the train, the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives, the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate, the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives, the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate, the Secretary of Transportation, and the Chairman of the Surface Transportation Board, which states:

(i) The Amtrak train schedule(s) at issue;

(ii) The specific components of the train schedule(s) on which Amtrak and host railroad cannot reach agreement;

(iii) Amtrak's position regarding the disagreed upon components of the train schedule(s);

(iv) Host railroad's position regarding the disagreed upon components of the train schedule(s); and

(v) Amtrak and the host railroad's plan and expectation date to resolve the disagreement(s). The requirement to transmit this joint letter and status report ends for the train schedule at issue when the uncertified schedule becomes a certified schedule.

(3) Ongoing coordination between Amtrak and host railroads. When conditions have changed that impact a certified schedule, Amtrak or a host railroad may seek to modify the certified schedule. The customer on-time performance standard in paragraph (a)(2) of this section remains in effect for the existing certified schedule, until a modified schedule is jointly certified.

(d) Train delays. The train delays metric is the minutes of delay for all Amtrak-responsible delays, host-responsible delays, and third party delays, for the host railroad territory within each route. The train delays metric is reported by delay code by: total minutes of delay; Amtrak-responsible delays; Amtrak's host-responsible delays; Amtrak's host responsible delays and Amtrak-responsible delays, combined; non-Amtrak host-responsible delays; and third party delays. The train delays metric is also reported by the number of non-Amtrak host-responsible delay minutes disputed by host railroad and not resolved by Amtrak.

(e) Train delays per 10,000 train miles. The train delays per 10,000 train miles metric is the minutes of delay per 10,000 train miles for all Amtrak-responsible and host-responsible delays, for the host railroad territory within each route.

(f) Station performance. The station performance metric is the number of detraining passengers, the number of late passengers, and the average minutes late that late customers arrive at their detraining stations, reported by route, by train, and by station. The average minutes late per late customer calculation excludes on-time customers that arrive no later than 15 minutes after their scheduled time.

(g) Host running time. The host running time metric is the average actual running time and the median actual running time compared with the scheduled running time between the first and final reporting points for a host railroad set forth in the Amtrak schedule skeleton, reported by route, by train, and by host railroad (excluding switching and terminal railroads).

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§273.7   Customer service.

(a) Customer satisfaction. The customer satisfaction metric is the percent of respondents to the Amtrak customer satisfaction survey who provided a score of 70 percent or greater for their “overall satisfaction” on a 100 point scale for their most recent trip, by route, shown both adjusted for performance and unadjusted.

(b) Amtrak personnel. The Amtrak personnel metric is the average score from respondents to the Amtrak customer satisfaction survey for their overall review of Amtrak personnel on their most recent trip, by route.

(c) Information given. The information given metric is the average score from respondents to the Amtrak customer satisfaction survey for their overall review of information provided by Amtrak on their most recent trip, by route.

(d) On-board comfort. The on-board comfort metric is the average score from respondents to the Amtrak customer satisfaction survey for their overall review of on-board comfort on their most recent trip, by route.

(e) On-board cleanliness. The on-board cleanliness metric is the average score from respondents to the Amtrak customer satisfaction survey for their overall review of on-board cleanliness on their most recent trip, by route.

(f) On-board food service. The on-board food service metric is the average score from respondents to the Amtrak customer satisfaction survey for their overall review of on-board food service on their most recent trip, by route.

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§273.9   Financial.

(a) Cost recovery. The cost recovery metric is Amtrak's adjusted operating revenue divided by Amtrak's adjusted operating expense. This metric is reported at the corporate level/system-wide and for each route and is reported in constant dollars of the reporting year based on the Office of Management and Budget's gross domestic product chain deflator.

(b) Avoidable operating costs covered by passenger revenue. The avoidable operating costs covered by passenger revenue metric is the percent of avoidable operating costs divided by passenger revenue for each route, shown with and without State operating payments.

(c) Fully allocated core operating costs covered by passenger revenue. The fully allocated core operating costs covered by passenger revenue metric is the percent of fully allocated core operating costs divided by passenger revenue for each route, shown with and without State operating payments.

(d) Average ridership. The average ridership metric is the number of passenger-miles divided by train-mile for each route.

(e) Total ridership. The total ridership metric is the total number of passengers on Amtrak trains, reported by route.

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§273.11   Public benefits.

(a) Connectivity. The connectivity metric is the percent of passengers connecting to and from other Amtrak routes, updated on an annual basis.

(b) Missed connections. The missed connections metric is the percent of passengers connecting to/from other Amtrak routes who missed connections due to a late arrival from another Amtrak train, reported by route and updated on an annual basis.

(c) Community access. The community access metric is the percent of Amtrak passenger-trips to and from not well-served communities, updated on an annual basis.

(d) Service availability. The service availability metric is the total number of daily Amtrak trains per 100,000 residents in a metropolitan statistical area (MSA) for each of the top 100 MSAs in the United States, shown in total and adjusted for time of day, updated on an annual basis.

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