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8/3/2010



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

FREIGHT Act companion bill enters House


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The FREIGHT Act now is in the House, too. On July 30, Reps. Albio Sires (D-N.J.), Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), Laura Richardson (D-Calif.) and Adam Smith (D-Wash.) introduced the Focusing Resources, Economic Investment and Guidance to Help Transportation Act of 2010, or FREIGHT Act (H.R. 5976). A companion measure to the FREIGHT Act (S. 3629) introduced July 22 by Sens. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), H.R. 5976 proposes to help transform the nation’s transportation policy by directing  more federal investments to the nation’s freight system.
 
The bill also complements freight improvement provisions in the transportation authorization bill introduced last year by House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman James Oberstar (D-Minn.), according to the Green Transportation Group.
 
The FREIGHT ACT would direct the U.S. Department of Transportation to develop and implement “institutional advances” designed to improve and coordinate freight policy within the federal government and states. In addition, the bill would forge a National Freight Transportation Strategic Plan to guide and inform goods movement infrastructure investments in future years; create an Office of Freight Planning and Development led by an assistant secretary for freight planning and development; and form a new competitive, merit-based National Freight Infrastructure Grants program for multi-modal freight investments that would focus funds on projects that provide the most public benefits.

“It is important that we make our freight transportation system as efficient, safe and environmentally friendly as possible to compete in a changing global economy,” said Sires in a prepared statement. “The FREIGHT Act will help us achieve national objectives of bettering our communities through reduced congestion and pollution while simultaneously stimulating our economy and helping businesses to grow.”

For more information on the Senate version of the FREIGHT Act, follow this link.


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