Audit Reports

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FRA Has Made Progress in Implementing PRIIA Responsibilities But Challenges for Long-Term HSIPR Remain

Project ID: 

On March 6, 2012, we issued our report on the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) progress in implementing the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 (PRIIA) pursuant to Section 221 of the Act, which required our office to assess DOT’s progress in implementing PRIIA’s provisions within three years of enactment.  The objectives of our audit were to:  (1) evaluate FRA’s progress in implementing its PRIIA responsibilities; and (2) determine how the status of FRA’s implementation of its PRIIA responsibilities impacts the improvement and expansion of intercity passenger rail. 

We found that FRA has made significant progress in implementing provisions of the Act, but some key provisions remain incomplete.  Without full implementation of all of its key PRIIA responsibilities, FRA faces additional challenges in improving and expanding intercity passenger rail.  FRA has implemented 25 of its 29 PRIIA responsibilities.  However, FRA has yet to complete several key PRIIA responsibilities that could significantly impact HSIPR development, including completing the National Rail Plan and promulgating grant rules.  We made recommendations to assist FRA in fully implementing PRIIA and strengthening intercity passenger rail.  FRA concurred with our recommendations, and has completed actions to address one recommendation and proposed actions to address the other recommendations.




Closed on 08.29.2012
No. 1 to FRA

Develop a comprehensive action plan, including milestones, to complete all outstanding PRIIA responsibilities.

Closed on 06.07.2016
No. 2 to FRA

Complete the National Rail Plan and include in it measurable performance goals and clear stakeholder roles.

Closed on 11.01.2017
No. 3 to FRA

Publish final rules for PRIIA grant programs that include clear, detailed directions for prospective applicants.

Closed on 03.06.2012
No. 4 to FRA

Confirm the National Rail Cooperative Research Program's advisory board membership and ensure that the members act in a timely manner to initiate required research.