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FRA to Prepare EIS for Fast Intercity Passenger Rail Service between Oklahoma City and South Texas. The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has filed a Notice of Intent to prepare a Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to study potential new and/or improved high-speed intercity passenger rail service along an 850-mile corridor extending from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, to the south Texas cities of Laredo and Brownsville. The EIS also includes the preparation of a service development plan for the corridor, which will evaluate a range of corridor alternatives and make decisions regarding the preferred corridor, location of train service terminals, location of intermediate stops, the level of service and future planning. Public hearings will be held from March 25 to April 4 along the corridor. The Federal Register notice can be found here. Contact: Kevin Thompson. (202) 493-6024.
DOT Raises Liability Limits for Domestic Airline Baggage. The U.S. Department of Transportation has raised the minimum dollar amount airlines can establish to compensate for lost, delayed and damaged baggage on domestic flights to $3,400 from the previous minimum of $3,300, effective June 6. The limit, which the Department reviews every two years and adjusts if necessary to reflect changes in consumer prices, was last increased in 2008 from $3,000 to $3,300. Airlines may set higher baggage liability limits if they wish, but will not be allowed to offer less than $3,400 for bags with contents worth that much or more. While this limit sets a minimum on what airlines must pay for baggage worth $3,400 or more, actual compensation can be lower based on the value of lost or damaged items or the passengers’ expenses due to delayed bags. The Federal Register notice is available at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-03-08/pdf/2013-05475.pdf. Contact: Bill Mosley, (202) 366-4570.