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5/15/2003



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

SAFETEA lends 'forward-thinking approach' to nation's transportation challenges, AAR says


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The Bush Administration’s Safe and Flexible Transportation Efficiency Act (SAFETEA) is an "innovative, forward-thinking approach to meeting transportation challenges," according to a statement issued May 14 by the Association of American Railroad (AAR).



Unveiled May 14, SAFETEA would require states to integrate freight into the transportation planning processes, and provide financing opportunities for public and private freight-rail projects, and streamline the environmental process.



"The administration’s proposal recognizes that freight transportation is vitally important to our nation’s economy and ability to compete in international markets," said AAR President and Chief Executive Officer Edward Hamberger. "Most important, however, is the focus on providing solutions for intermodal freight transport, including several innovative financing approaches. This is an important development, particularly for many states facing massive highway congestion problems."



SAFETEA can be viewed at www.dot.state.gov. Comments on the proposal can be submitted before May 23, and can be emailed to strategicplan@dot.gov; faxed to Strategic Plan Coordinator at (202) 366-7618; or mailed to U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Secretary, Attn: Strategic Plan Coordinator, Mail Stop: P-100, 400 Seventh Street, Washington, D.C. 20590.


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