Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell advises clients at every phase of a transit or commuter rail system’s life. We understand the varied needs of public sector clients and the challenges inherent in the implementation of transportation projects and their operations. Our lawyers have served in all major legal capacities associated with transportation projects — agency general counsel, planners, negotiators, document drafters, federal regulatory counsel. We have counseled a significant proportion of the nation’s public transportation agencies on a range of issues essential to ensuring the safe and efficient transportation of passengers and work daily with the statutory and regulatory issues affecting transit agencies.
Our broad experience includes providing counsel on procurement, grants, system planning, construction and redevelopment of facilities, acquisition and disposition of fixed-guideway corridors, implementation and operation of service, negotiations for rail access with freight railroads and Amtrak, contracting with third parties, including for maintenance and dispatching services, and regulatory permitting and approvals. We provide advice on regulatory issues including Buy America, Disadvantaged Business Enterprise, Americans With Disabilities Act, civil rights, National Environmental Policy Act, Uniform Relocation and Assistance Act, as well as compliance with Federal Transit Administration and Federal Railroad Administration Grant Agreements, Circulars, and Regulations, 13(c) labor protection, labor issues and related matters.
Many clients are state or regional commuter rail or transit agencies that must negotiate with railroads and Amtrak regarding access to, and shared use or development of, rail corridors, facilities and stations, as well as other property. Every transaction presents different challenges, and we assist our clients in obtaining outright ownership of rights-of-way, easements, leases or licenses as the situation demands, as well as the regulatory approvals they must obtain to commence operations.
Based on the depth of our experience Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell wrote a Transportation Research Board publication Legal Issues – Transit Mega Projects.