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76 Guidebook for Implementing Passenger Rail Service on Shared Passenger and Freight Corridors The status of STB and FRA efforts in response to these sections of PRIIA will be evolving over the coming months and years. Passenger rail interests are strongly advised to inform themselves of the current status of these efforts before entering negotiations with Amtrak and host railroads. The above requirements apply to intercity services as operated by Amtrak. In addition, PRIIA Section 401 empowers the STB to conduct non-binding mediation if a commuter rail agency and a host railroad cannot reach agreement on access terms on their own. This power has been dis- cussed in Section 4.4 of this Guidebook in reference to negotiating and finalizing a basic access agreement. The STB may exercise the same powers if a commuter rail agency and host are unable to reach agreement regarding service additions and other changes. 5.2.2 Performance Monitoring and Service Quality Service performance can be maintained at a high level only if it is both monitored regularly and arrangements are in place to address cases of unsatisfactory performance. Poor OTP and poor service in other areas can have a substantial adverse effect on ridership. In addition, delays have an adverse impact on operating costs, including additional train crew working hours, provision of substitute transportation if a train has to be terminated short of its destination, and compen- sation to passengers for missed connections. Recommended practices in each area are discussed in Sections 5.3 and 5.4 for Amtrak intercity and commuter service, respectively. Specific areas of interest include: Reporting obligations--what is reported by the host railroad, Amtrak (if involved), and a con- tract operator (if involved) to the passenger rail agency and between each other. Usually, this includes service performance metrics such as delay minutes, analysis of delay causes and responsibilities, OTP, requirements for special reports on unusual delays and events, and arrangements for communicating information to the public, as required. Agencies responsi- ble for shorter intercity corridors may find that regular Amtrak reporting procedures may not be adequate and will have to establish separate local mechanisms. Incentives, penalties, and contractually enforceable standards for OTP (host railroad) and other performance factors (for example, with a contract operator). Recommended practices for working with a host railroad to correct persistent poor performance. Lines of communication between host railroad, passenger rail agency, O&M contractor, or Amtrak, including arrangements for regular performance review meetings and establishing plans of action to address poor performance. 5.2.3 Agreement Revisions and Updates As discussed in Chapter 4, recommended practice with respect to access agreements is to exe- cute a long-term (20 years or more) master agreement with Amtrak (if intercity service) or directly with the host railroad (if commuter service). The long-term agreement will guarantee access and specify access terms, but will contain provisions for regular revisions of service details (e.g., number of trips up to a specified maximum, journey times, station stops) and additional infrastructure investments as needed. The agreement gives all users confidence that they can fol- low their long-term strategic plans for the corridor without risk that their plans will be blocked by an inability to renegotiate the agreement at some point in the future. However, because demand for both freight and passenger service and the availability of funding for service devel- opments are unpredictable, it is also necessary to have flexibility to adjust the agreement within defined limits in response to changing conditions. The agreements should be based on long-term plans and traffic forecasts for each corridor user and should provide security of access for ser- vices up to the planned or forecast traffic levels, plus an allowance for additional growth. In almost