DOT’s Freight Policy Council hits the ground running
September 14, 2012
Following the launch of the Department of Transportation’s Freight Policy Council in August, DOT Secretary Ray LaHood wrote in his blog, entitled “Fast Lane,” this week that DOT is “kicking off the new council’s work by listening to the people who know freight—the states, the freight and logistics industry, businesses, consumers, and other stakeholders.”
The objective of the Freight Policy Council is to focus on improving the condition and performance of the national freight network to better ensure the ability of the U.S. to compete in the global economy. DOT says the Freight Policy Council will develop a national intermodal plan for improving the efficiency of freight movement and also work with states to encourage development of a forward-looking state freight strategy.
This is a good thing—and it is really something that is long overdue.
LaHood does a good job of explaining why in his blog:
“To stay competitive in today’s global economy, America must tackle three freight challenges:
-First, we must develop a national strategic vision on freight.
-Second, the public and private sectors must work together to invest in our nation’s freight network.
-Third, we must plan and deliver freight infrastructure projects more quickly and efficiently than ever.”
These challenges all make sense. What’s more, the rollout of the Freight Policy Council followed MAP-21, the new federal transportation bill, which was inked by President Obama in July, following a lengthy period of stop-gap legislation to keep SAFETEA-LU funding intact.
The Freight Policy Council is clearly still in the early innings, but it looks like it has great potential at the same time. It will be interesting to see what its findings are in the coming months. Please check back with Newsroom Notes as we report on its progress.
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