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9/18/2013



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Illinois DOT to form freight advisory council


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The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) plans to establish a freight advisory council that would coordinate freight multi-modal planning in the state.

The Illinois State Freight Advisory Council will advise IDOT and other state agencies on issues and policies involving freight transportation.

The council will "reflect a mix of freight experts" from each mode, including railroads, ports, airports and trucking firms, IDOT officials said in a press release. In addition, members will include representatives from labor organizations, freight shippers and receivers, economic development organizations, academic and professional institutions, and the manufacturing, agriculture and energy sectors.

The council would be similar to U.S. Department of Transportation's National Freight Advisory Committee, which is charged with providing freight policy recommendations to help shape federal freight transportation efforts, IDOT officials said.

"Freight transportation is essential to Illinois' economic prosperity and a vital key to being competitive in today's global economy," said Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider. "This statewide council will help coordinate regional priorities between the public and private sectors regarding freight industry and system needs while enhancing Illinois' competitive advantage in the global markets, and sustaining our position as the nation's primary freight hub."

IDOT is seeking nominations of potential council members, and is encouraging public- and private-sector candidates who represent freight transportation in the state to submit an application by Oct. 15.

Department officials expect to name the council members in fall. The council then will review IDOT's recently released long-range transportation plan, as well as freight mobility and state rail plans.



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