APTA recommends an insurance program for commuter rail

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The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) has recommended the U.S. Department of Transportation create a commuter rail insurance program to ensure all agencies that operate commuter rail services in the United States are insured.

“Commuter rail is a key component of improved public transit infrastructure, enhanced mobility, economic recovery, and addressing climate change. Without federal intervention, commuter rail agencies will continue to face a significantly reduced market capacity for coverage along with unreasonable premium costs, threatening operations” Paul Skoutelas, APTA president and CEO, said. “The stability that federal involvement could bring would help foster the desired investment in infrastructure, as well as addressing the economic and operating challenges that these agencies face.”

The recommendation was included in a report entitled APTA Recommendation on Commuter Rail Liability Insurance.

The report outlines how commuter rail service operators have been forced to turn to foreign markets for commuter rail insurance because the commuter rail insurance market has become significantly more expensive and fewer insurers are willing to participate.

APTA concluded that the domestic insurance market will not correct or improve without federal involvement.

The stability of commuter rail services across the country is threatened by the cost and scarcity of insurance coverage for commuter rail operators, APTA said.