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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

Senate committee OKs bill's key freight policy provisions, intermodal coalition says


Yesterday, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation approved freight provisions in the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Enhancement Act of 2011 (S. 1950), according to the Coalition for America’s Gateways and Trade Corridors (CAGTC).
The bill provides the tools necessary to create a national freight policy and infrastructure grant program, CAGTC officials said in a prepared statement. An amendment offered by Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) would establish an Office of Freight Planning and Development at the U.S. Department of Transportation that would be charged with developing and implementing national freight policy. In addition, the measure includes a National Freight Infrastructure Grants initiative that calls for developing a competitive, merit-based program with broad eligibility for multi-modal freight projects that would provide funds for those projects that offer the most public benefit.
The legislation creates a framework for a national freight policy that will be critical for future planning as the nation’s population and economy continue to grow, and addresses the country’s commerce needs both for domestic and international goods movement, said officials at CAGTC, a coalition of more than 60 public and private organizations dedicated to increasing federal investment in U.S. intermodal infrastructure.

“Our nation’s freight system functions as an economic driver, both for imports and exports, and that system needs long-term planning and investment tools to continue operating efficiently,” said CAGTC Executive Director Leslie Blakey.

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More News from 12/15/2011