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Bill seeking to bolster surface transportation system enters House


Rep. Rush Holt (D-N.J.) recently introduced the National Transportation Objectives Act of 2009 (H.R. 2724), which proposes to “set objectives and performance targets that would move the national surface transportation system forward,” according to a statement Holt issued on June 8.

Co-sponsored by five U.S. representatives, the bill would establish six national transportation objectives designed to promote energy efficiency, ensure environmental protection, improve the nation’s economic competitiveness, increase safety, and provide equal access to urban and rural communities.

H.R. 2724 proposes to meet the following objectives within the next 20 years:
• increase rail and intermodal freight transportation by 20 percent;
• reduce vehicular miles traveled by 16 percent;
• cut transportation-generated carbon dioxide levels by 40 percent;
• reduce transportation delays by 10 percent;
• improve public safety and lower congestion costs by reducing traffic accidents by 50 percent; and
• reduce average household combined housing/transportation costs by 25 percent.

“Clearly, our current transportation policy is inadequate for the 21st century,” said Holt. “We need a comprehensive, well thought out, long-term transportation strategy to address our economic and energy needs.”

The bill, which was referred to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, is endorsed by Transportation4America, a coalition of more than 300 national and state organizations, local governments, businesses and transit agencies.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 6/16/2009