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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

Rep. Lowenthal unveils sustainable freight infrastructure bill

Last week, U.S. Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.) introduced Economy in Motion: The National Multimodal and Sustainable Freight Infrastructure Act (H.R. 5624), which proposes the formation of a freight program that would be funded through the implementation of a 1 percent waybill fee on transported cargo.

The bill would create a two-part incentive formula program, available in states that develop freight plans and form freight advisory committees as encouraged under MAP-21. The measure also would establish a national competitive grant program with broad, multimodal project eligibility.
A new Freight Trust Fund would provide as much as $8 billion annually for freight infrastructure-improvement projects across all modes. The sustained investment would help address a growing backlog of freight projects, said Coalition for America's Gateways and Trade Corridors (CAGTC) officials in a press release.

"Congressman Lowenthal's bill has added a significant piece to the freight dialogue. Each day, our nation's freight infrastructure needs grow and a strategic campaign of public investment is needed," said CAGTC President and Executive Director Leslie Blakey. "I applaud the congressman for proposing both an investment plan as well as a revenue generation strategy. His continued leadership on freight infrastructure investment will be valuable as Congress moves to consider a long-term surface transportation reauthorization."

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More News from 9/25/2014