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Rail News Home Intermodal

11/14/2007



Rail News: Intermodal

Prince, Finkbiner release '10 Steps to Improved Modal Connectivity' report


Intermodal experts Theodore Prince and Thomas Finkbiner have fashioned and released the first report that details the needs of a truly intermodal transportation system.

Entitled "Leveraging the Freight Network: 10 Steps to Improved Modal Connectivity," the 22-page report states the need to:

• Reinforce the importance of funding intermodal connector projects;
• Expand the definition of those connectors to include more facilities and roads;
• Support infrastructure projects outside terminals using federal pre-emption;
• Make freight a federal issue by using new perspectives on national and local political roles;
• Strengthen the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) by raising and indexing fuel taxes;
• Maintain the HTF "firewall" to ensure taxes collected aren't diverted to other uses;
• Emphasize environmental issues to ensure emphasis on the prudent use of fuel resources;
• Adapt the airport passenger facility charge model to intermodal as a funding source;
• Develop projects to encourage simultaneous growth of freight and passenger systems; and
• Launch a short sea shipping pilot program with new incentives to develop its potential.

Produced by the National Center for Intermodal Transportation and the Foundation for Intermodal Research and Education, the report is based on interviews with key transportation, government and association leaders.

Finkbiner, who chairs the University of Denver's Intermodal Transportation Institute, previously served as president of Pacer Stacktrain, chief executive of tank truck carrier Quality Distribution Services and vice president of intermodal for Norfolk Southern Railway. A principal consultant for T. Prince and Associates L.L.C., Prince previously was VP of intermodal and international for Kansas City Southern, chief operating officer for the North American services of "K" Line and senior VP of intermodal management software firm Optimization Alternatives Ltd.

"Our report focuses on the freight system's orphan-intermodal, which has failed to attract meaningful support because it does not fit within the legacy modal governance and funding maintained by the federal government," Finkbiner and Prince said in a prepared statement. "We, the freight transportation industry, must focus on the future ... and unite on a national transportation focus."


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