STB adopts tentative measure of average change in rail industry productivity
The Surface Transportation Board (STB) announced yesterday it has adopted a tentative measure of average change in railroad industry productivity for the 2011-2015 period. The board tentatively adopted 1.020 — 2 percent per year — as the long-run measure of productivity, up 0.6 percent from the average of the 2010-2014 period, STB officials said in a press release. Each year, the STB calculates the change, if any, in the railroad industry productivity by comparing year-to-year the average cost of producing a unit of railroad output. This year's calculation was affected by a change in how distances are measured that affected the yearly change in revenue ton-miles — an input to the board's calculation of the change in productivity. Given the "unique circumstances" of this year's calculation, the STB has scheduled a technical conference at 10 a.m. Feb. 28 in the agency's hearing room in Washington, D.C., STB officials said. Staff of the board's Office of Economics will give an overview of the productivity adjustment calculation, then take questions from conference attendees. Stakeholders planning to attend the conference are asked to RSVP to the Office of Public Assistance, Governmental Affairs, and Compliance at (202) 245-0238 by 5 p.m. Feb. 24. The conference will also be accessible on the STB website via live video streaming.