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FREIGHT RESOURCE CENTER

RESEARCH

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01-31-2018
HIGHWAY AND TRANSIT PROJECTS Evaluation Guidance Needed for States with National Environmental Policy Act Authority

Since 2005, over 30 provisions have been enacted in law to speed up the delivery of highway and transit projects, mainly by streamlining the NEPA review process. NEPA requires federal agencies to evaluate the potential environmental effects of proposed projects on the human environment. These project delivery provisions included new categorical exclusions to streamline the review process, and a provision allowing DOT to assign federal NEPA approval authority to states. Congress included provisions in statute for GAO to assess the use of these provisions and whether they have accelerated project delivery. This report examines: (1) which project delivery provisions were used by state DOTs and selected transit agencies and the reported effects, and (2) the extent to which DOT has assigned NEPA authority to states and the reported effects, among other objectives.

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01-01-2018
Transportation Statistics Annual Report 2017

The Transportation Statistics Annual Report describes the Nation’s transportation system, the system’s performance, its contributions to the economy, and its effects on people and the environment. This 22nd edition of the report is based on information collected or compiled by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) - the principle Federal statistical agency at the U.S. Department of Transportation. Nearly 4.2 million miles of roads, more than 19,000 public and private use airports, more than 600,000 highway bridges, about 138,000 miles of freight and passenger railroads, 25,000 miles of navigable waterways, and nearly 2.7 million miles of oil and gas pipelines connect the Nation’s people and businesses across the continent and with the rest of the world. The U.S. freight transportation system moved nearly 18.0 billion tons of goods valued at more than $19.1 trillion in 2015. Expressed in per-capita terms, this means that about 56 tons of freight moved for every man, woman, a

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01-01-2018
Port Performance Freight Statistics Program Annual Report to Congress 2017

Reflecting the importance of ports to the Nation’s multi-modal freight transportation system, Section 6018 of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act requires the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) of the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) to establish “a port performance statistics program to provide nationally consistent measures of performance of, at a minimum, the Nation’s top 25 ports by tonnage; the Nation’s top 25 ports by 20-foot equivalent unit; and the Nation’s top 25 ports by dry bulk… [and] submit an annual report to Congress that includes statistics on capacity and throughput at the ports.” The status of BTS as a principal Federal statistical agency requires these measures to be objective, the methods of measurement to be transparent and published statistics to meet reasonable quality standards. FAST Act Section 6018 requires BTS to measure port throughput (defined in this report as the amount of cargo a port handles annually) and capacity (def

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