CEO Perspective: When Consensus is Staring You in the Face: An Invitation to Partnership

As part of a special series in Railway Age’s April 2023 issue, 13 chief executives of leading North American companies answer the single-most critical question: What is the biggest challenge facing the North American rail industry? Patty Long of the Railway Supply Institute is the seventh to share her perspective.

As a society, and all too often in our nation’s Capitol, we spend our time focused on differences—difference of opinion, policy priorities, funding levels—rather than seeing the areas in front of us where we can clearly agree. Consider the almost unanimous belief in the benefits of moving people and products by rail. Objectively and statistically, rail is the safest, most sustainable, most economical and most efficient mode of transport.

Recognizing this, a bipartisan majority in Congress passed legislation in November 2021 to invest more than $100 billion U.S. taxpayer dollars in the rail industry, as 297 members of Congress (228 in the House and 69 in the Senate) voted for the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), a $1.2 trillion investment overall. They understood that it would create jobs, promote more sustainable movement of people and products, and update a system that is key to our country’s economic health and national security.

About the Railway Supply Institute (RSI)
The Railway Supply Institute (RSI) is dedicated to advancing safety, innovation, technology, and sustainability within the freight and passenger railway supplier industry, both in North America and global markets. As the voice of the industry, RSI strategically engages in critical and urgent industry matters by leveraging the technical expertise of our members to advocate in the legislative and regulatory arenas, foster education, host impactful events, and facilitate networking opportunities. For more information visit, follow RSI on Twitter and LinkedIn

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