On March 5, 2013, U.S. Congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ) introduced new legislation to strengthen our national freight transportation policy by creating a national plan for moving goods efficiently by road, rail, water, and air. With the support of U.S. Representatives Adam Smith (D-WA), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Janice Hahn (D-CA), Corrine Brown (D-FL) and Grace Napolitano (D-CA) as original co-sponsors, the Multimodal Opportunities via Enhanced (MOVE) Freight Act of 2013 would direct the federal government to ensure the various and essential modes of our freight network are accounted for and provide investment in freight transportation projects.
"With freight volumes expected to more than double by 2040 to nearly $40 trillion annually, it is imperative that our nation craft a strategic, all-inclusive freight policy that provides for the reliable, efficient, and safe movement of goods," said Congressman Sires.
Last year, Congress passed a two-year transportation bill known as MAP-21, which established a national freight policy and freight network to assist states in improving the movement of goods on highways. However, with an estimated $10.3 trillion worth of goods using multiple modes of transportation each year, it is critical that Congress plan for the efficient movement of freight across all modes of transportation. The MOVE Freight Act will expand the definition of the national freight network to include rail, navigable waterways, inland ports, seaports, freight intermodal connectors, airports, and aerotropolis transportation systems, helping to establish a truly modern freight policy and ensuring U.S. global competitiveness.
In addition, this legislation will create a National Freight Infrastructure Investment Grants program. Eligible projects include port development, freight rail improvement, intelligent transportation systems, and other projects to improve goods movement. These competitive grants will be awarded to projects with the highest system performance improvement relative to their benefit-cost analysis.
"Our transportation infrastructure is outdated and growing congestion has led to increased costs across the nation," said Sires. "This legislation will update the current freight system to ensure our nation is prepared to compete in a global economy."