Takoma Park, MD — Jarrett Smith, Takoma Park City Councilmember and member of the National League of Cities Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, highlighted Governor Larry Hogan’s infrastructure leadership in a January 17 op-ed published in The Daily Record, urging Hogan and other lawmakers to expand the infrastructure conversation and oppose further economic regulation of freight railroads.
“While Hogan is right to focus on infrastructure, the U.S. is already a world leader on freight rail. He and other policymakers might consider the reason: A balanced approach to rail regulation in the U.S. has not only saved railroading from the brink of extinction, it’s also allowed rail companies to consistently and hugely invest. Unfortunately this approach is at stake today as the U.S. Surface Transportation Board — railroads’ economic regulator — considers new commodity-specific and broader changes to regulations governing rail rates.”
Smith highlights the public benefits of rail transport as opposed to heavy trucks, saying that an efficient rail network is vital to Maryland’s economy.
“While rail isn’t new to Takoma Park (we were one of the first-ever D.C. suburbs designed with rail access in 1883), the average person doesn’t think much about the freight trains traveling across our region. They are the arteries that help carry everything from consumer goods and U.S. exports to the raw inputs critical to Maryland manufacturers.”