E-commerce poised to influence next surface transportation bill

FreightWaves |

By Joanna Marsh | December 6, 2019

Erin Aleman, executive director for the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning and a board member of the Coalition for America’s Gateways and Trade Corridors, said the federal government needs to conduct a comprehensive study of the state of freight transportation today to so that it can develop a national strategy that can guide long-term planning.

The plan can serve as a “north star” to shape future federal funding authorizations, enable the government to see what funding has worked and serve as a way to hold grant programs and discretionary funding more accountable, Aleman said.

The government should also establish an office of multimodal freight within the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of the Secretary to guide freight mobility policy, Aleman said in written testimony.

“Because the movement of goods spans different modes of infrastructure, specialized knowledge at the federal level is essential. An office of multimodal freight will allow experts in the unique operational and economic needs of each mode to work together to make the best investments in our system,” Aleman said. “Additionally, this investment strategy should include innovative and flexible approaches to structuring federal financial assistance in a manner that encourages private sector investment.”

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