Forty-one railroads including 29 commuter railroads are required by statute to implement PTC. Commuter railroads unable to implement a PTC system by December 31, 2018, may receive a maximum 2-year extension if they meet certain statutory criteria.

GAO was asked to review commuter railroads’ PTC implementation. Among other objectives, this statement discusses (1) commuter railroads that may not be positioned to meet the PTC deadline or to qualify for an extension, and factors affecting their progress, and (2) the extent to which FRA’s management and oversight approach has helped ensure that commuter railroads meet the deadline or qualify
for an extension.

GAO analyzed commuter railroads’ most recently available quarterly progress reports and collected information on planned implementation schedules, interviewed 19 commuter railroads—including 14 FRA identified as at-risk and 5 others further ahead with implementation—and interviewed FRA officials.

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