USDA Grain Transportation Report (1/26): STB Rejects Railroads Petition For Delay in Small Rate Arbitration

According to today's USDA Grain Transportation Report, on December 19, the Surface Transportation Board (STB) finalized two small-rate-case dispute procedures: voluntary arbitration and Final Offer Rate Review (FORR). All seven Class I railroads must agree to participate in the voluntary arbitration program for it to go into effect.

The railroads have until February 23 to decide whether to participate. On December 29, multiple Class I railroads petitioned STB for a “stay” in the proceeding, which is a legal request that would delay the participation deadline.

On January 24, STB rejected the railroads’ petition for the delay on the grounds that the railroads did not provide adequate justification for it.

However, the decision was made “without prejudice,” meaning the railroads can file a new petition with STB.

Additionally, railroads challenged both the voluntary arbitration and FORR decisions in circuit court and could petition the court for a stay instead.