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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

USDOT receives 81 recommendations from National Freight Advisory Committee

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx yesterday announced the receipt of a report from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) National Freight Advisory Committee (NFAC) that recommends dozens of ways to improve the performance of the nation’s freight transportation system.

The report's 81 recommendations — which are under review by the USDOT — will be used to help develop a National Freight Strategic Plan. The recommendations include suggestions for improving safety and security across the freight-rail network, reviews of funding needs and challenges, calls for increased streamlining processes, and better collection of data and research. The NFAC also proposes the exploration of ways to improve collaboration for multi-jurisdictional freight planning, develop freight safety goals, and address workforce development and funding needs.

"Our nation's economic competitiveness depends on a transportation network that can move freight safely and efficiently, especially as we are expected to move double the current amount by 2050," said Foxx in a press release. "[These] suggestions will help inform the department’s work on improving our country’s future freight system.”"

Established in June 2013, the NFAC advises USDOT to help promote a safe, economically efficient and environmentally sustainable freight transportation system. The committee's 47 members represent private and public national freight system interests, and come from modal carriers, infrastructure operators, government agencies, labor organizations, academia and public interest groups.

The NFAC reviews legislative issues and a number of other U.S. freight system matters, including the implementation of MAP-21's freight transportation requirements; establishment of a national freight network; development of a National Freight Strategic Plan; formation of strategies to help states implement freight advisory committees and freight plans; development of measures on freight transportation conditions and performance; and creation of freight transportation investment, data and planning tools.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/15/2014