[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 183 (Thursday, September 20, 2012)]
[Pages 58439-58440]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-23232]



Federal Railroad Administration

[Docket No. FRA 2012-0006-N-12]

Environmental Impact Statement for the Northeast Corridor Between 
Washington, DC, New York, NY and Boston, MA

AGENCY: Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Department of 
Transportation (DOT).

ACTION: Request for public comment on proposed collection of 


SUMMARY: Before a Federal agency can collect certain information from 
the public, it must receive approval from the Office of Management and 
Budget (OMB). Under procedures established by the Paperwork Reduction 
Act of 1995, before seeking OMB approval, Federal agencies must solicit 
public comment on proposed collections of information, including 
extensions and reinstatement of previously approved collections. This 
document describes the collection of information for which FRA intends 
to seek OMB approval.

DATES: Comments must be received no later than November 19, 2012.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by DOT Docket ID Number 
[Docket No. FRA 2012-0006-N-12] on-line at http://www.regulations.gov 
(follow the online instructions for submitting comments), by mail to 
Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New 
Jersey Ave. SE., Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001, by hand 
delivery to West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey 
Ave. SE., Washington, DC (between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET, Monday through 
Friday, except Federal holidays), or by facsimile to (202) 493-2251.
    Each submission must include the Agency name and the Docket number 
for this Notice. Note that all comments received will be posted without 
change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal 
information provided.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rebecca Reyes-Alicea, U.S. Department 
of Transportation, Federal Railroad Administration, Office of Railroad 
Policy & Development, Mail Stop 20, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., 
Washington, DC 20590.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), 
Public Law 104-13, 2, 109 Stat. 163 (1995) (codified as revised at 44 
U.S.C. 3501-3520), and its implementing regulations, 5 CFR Part 1320, 
require Federal agencies to provide 60-days' notice to the public for 
comment on information collection activities before seeking approval 
for reinstatement or renewal by OMB. 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A); 5 CFR 
1320.8(d)(1), 1320.10(e)(1), 1320.12(a). Specifically, FRA invites 
interested respondents to comment on the following summary of proposed 
information collection activities regarding (i) whether the information 
collection activities are necessary for FRA to properly execute its 
functions, including whether the activities will have practical 
utility; (ii) the accuracy of FRA's estimates of the burden of the 
information collection activities, including the validity of the 
methodology and assumptions used to determine the estimates; (iii) ways 
for FRA to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information 
being collected; and (iv) ways for FRA to minimize the burden of 
information collection activities on the public by automated, 
electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or 
other forms of information technology (e.g., permitting electronic 
submission of responses). See 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)(I)-(iv); 5 CFR 
    FRA believes that soliciting public comment will promote its 
efforts to reduce the administrative and paperwork burdens associated 
with this collection of information. Comments that you submit in 
response to this notice are a matter of public record. Before including 
your address, phone number, email address, or other personal 
identifying information in your comment, please be aware that your 
entire comment, including your

[[Page 58440]]

personal identifying information may be made publicly available at any 
time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold personal 
identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we 
will be able to do so. In summary, FRA reasons that comments received 
will advance three objectives: (i) Reduce reporting burdens; (ii) 
ensure that it organizes information collection requirements in a 
``user friendly'' format to improve the use of such information; and 
(iii) accurately assess the resources expended to retrieve and produce 
information requested. See 44 U.S.C. 3501.
    Below is a brief summary of the information collection activities 
that FRA will submit for clearance by OMB as required under the PRA:
    Title: Survey of Northeast Regional and Intercity Household Travel 
Attitudes and Behavior.
    Type of Request: New information collection requirement.
    Status: Regular review.
    OMB Clearance Number: None.
    Form Number: F222.
    Respondent Obligation: Voluntary.
    Frequency of Response: On occasion.
    Affected Public: Members of the general public between the ages of 
18 and 74 who have Northeast intercity or regional travel experience 
during the 12 months prior to interview.
    Estimated Number of Respondents: up to 22,500 for phase 1; up to 
15,000 for phase 2.
    Abstract: FRA proposes to collect information from the public to 
determine current intercity and regional travel behavior of Northeast 
residents. The information collected will include frequency of trips, 
origin and destination, modes of travel (and class of service if 
applicable), trip purpose, party size, trip costs, and other trip 
characteristics. It will also ask for travel preferences under 
alternative choice scenarios that include different and new modes, 
classes of service, costs, and amenities.
    The proposed information collection will be conducted in two 
phases. The first phase (Phase 1 Survey) will be conducted by 
telephone, using computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI). A 
dual frame sample design will be used including both landlines and cell 
phones. The Phase 1 Survey will obtain basic travel information and 
invite just those who experienced a qualifying intercity or regional 
travel trip to provide more detailed travel information and choice 
preferences in a second phase. The Phase 1 Survey interview is 
estimated to take five (5) minutes to complete. The second phase (Phase 
2 Survey), which will immediately follow the first, will be 
administered by web (except in cases when easy web access is not 
possible and the participant needs a mailed paper survey). The Phase 2 
Survey will ask more detailed questions about one randomly selected 
trip that the respondent reported in the first phase of the survey. In 
addition, it will ask the travel preference questions. The Phase 2 
Survey is estimated to take 15 minutes to complete.
    The Northeast faces major congestion and capacity constraints that, 
if not addressed, will have the potential to curtail future mobility 
and economic growth in the region. Thus, FRA established the Northeast 
Corridor (NEC) Future Program to develop a Passenger Rail Corridor 
Investment Plan (PRCIP) for the Northeast region. The PRCIP will 
address the larger goals of improving mobility, effectively serving 
travel demand, supporting economic development, reducing growth in 
carbon emissions and dependence of foreign oil, and contributing to 
improved land utilization. The PRCIP requires the development and 
evaluation of improved transportation alternatives for the Northeast. 
In support of preparing the PRCIP, this data collection is needed to 
build a model for estimating market demand for transportation in the 
Northeast and to evaluate how travelers would respond to alternative 
transportation service options.
    While there are certain publicly available data that can assist in 
analyzing the Northeast travel market during the early phases of the 
project when alternatives are evaluated using coarse screening tools, 
more detailed data will be needed to support development of the 
detailed PRCIP. Currently available data include airline ticket data, 
Amtrak ticket data, and commuter rail ticket data. But these data 
sources do not contain information on the characteristics of the 
traveler (such as age, income, or vehicle ownership), trip purpose, 
detail on party size, or actual origins and destinations. Importantly, 
there is no current information on the number of intercity trips taken 
by automobile in the Northeast. Further, there is not currently a 
sufficient information source for traveler preferences regarding new 
transportation services that might be developed as part of the PRCIP.
    Reporting Burden: The target sample size for the Phase 2 Survey is 
up to 15,000 responses. To achieve this target sample size, we estimate 
needing to contact up to 22,500 households in the Phase 1 Survey. This 
larger number for Phase 1 respondents accounts for the fact that (i) 
not all households will have taken a qualifying trip during the 
previous 12 months and (ii) not all respondents will want to 
participate. All interviewing will occur during a two to three month 
phase in winter/spring 2012-2013.

                              Phase                                   Minutes       Respondents    Burden hours
Phase 1.........................................................               5          22,500           1,875
Phase 2.........................................................              15          15,000           3,750
    Total.......................................................  ..............  ..............           5,625

    Total Annual Estimated Responses: 37,500.
    Total Estimated Annual Burden: 5,625 hours.
    Status: Regular Review.
    Requested Expiration: 3 years from date of approval.

    Authority:  44 U.S.C. 3501-3520.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on September 14, 2012.
Rebecca Pennington,
Chief Financial Officer, Federal Railroad Administration.
[FR Doc. 2012-23232 Filed 9-19-12; 8:45 am]