The Alliance for Rail Competition (ARC) is a diverse group of shippers and industry trade associations that formally organized in March 1997 in response to growing concerns over deteriorating rail service. Members of ARC include businesses representing a broad cross-section of industry segments, including agriculture, coal, consumer and industrial products, chemicals, minerals and petrochemicals.
Companies involved in ARC's efforts recognize that the current regulatory interpretation of the 1980 Staggers Act has strayed significantly from the pro-competitive intentions of that law. After significant efforts to rectify the regulatory approach to rail competition, ARC has recognized that the STB will continue to apply its anti-competitive interpretations until such time as Congress directs it to do otherwise. ARC members are not looking for more regulatory intervention. Rather, they are looking for the ability to negotiate with their rail carriers in a free market environment where customer choice, not monopoly power determines the type and quality of service received.