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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

Rep. Lowenthal proposes new fund for freight infrastructure projects


U.S. Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.) last week introduced a bill that would create a dedicated funding source to invest in the nation's freight infrastructure.

The proposed National Multimodal and Sustainable Freight Infrastructure Act (H.R. 1308) would raise about $8 billion a year dedicated to freight-related infrastructure projects throughout the nation, with a focus on multimodal and other projects that would help relieve freight-traffic bottlenecks.

The bill would establish the "Freight Transportation Infrastructure Trust Fund" and would be funded through a national 1 percent waybill fee on the transportation cost of goods. To invest the funds, the bill would create two freight-specific grant programs: a formula system for states and a competitive grant program that would be open to all local, regional and state governments.

"Goods movement is one of the most powerful economic engines in our nation. And yet, the infrastructure this engine depends on is crumbling around us," said Lowenthal in a press release. "We have the ability to fix it, make it stronger, and make it better, while also taking action to address the negative impacts of goods movement on our communities."

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More News from 3/23/2015