At the end of June 2015, the U.S. Senate introduced a proposal for the National Multimodal Freight Policy and Investment Act. This bit of legislation supports economic growth in the U.S. by eliminating chokepoints at critical facilities along highways, ports, and railways. Most goods that are manufactured within the U.S. are shipped across state lines. This multimodal freight program expedites the process with an efficiency overhaul.
Recommendations for the Multimodal Freight Act were taken from the National Freight Advisory Committee, which is a nonpartisan group of public and private sector freight stakeholders. It was organized by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT). Their recommendations included the following:
- $2 billion minimum annual investment through a grant program
- Taking a closer look at state-level multimodal fright planning to make improvements
- Opening an office at USDOT for permits, planning, and the freight mobility program
- Developing a freight network that consists of more than trucks
The freight investment legislation was headed up senators Booker, Cantwell, Market, and Murray. They worked extensively on the act and hope that it will be approved to strengthen the economics in the U.S.
Sharon Neely of the California Association of Governments said, “As freight volume grows, capacity across all modes will be stretched and it is vital to make multimodal improvements and enhancements so our nation remains globally competitive.” She went on to say these types of critical investments are economic multipliers that support family wage jobs, domestic manufacturing, and the overall health of our national economies.”
Without the Multimodal Freight Act, senators believe that the U.S will not be able to compete in the world market in most industries. They believe the act is essential in keeping the U.S. strong. The Multimodal Freight Act brings over $12 billion in investments to the freight industry, mainly to help with infrastructure. It has not passed yet, but major holdups are not expected.