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Martin Murray

National Freight Advisory Committee

By February 21, 2013

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rail freight In July 2012, the US government enacted the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century, or MAP-21, which established a national freight policy and focused on the creation of a national strategic freight plan. In accordance with MAP-21, the Department of Transport (DoT) will create the National Freight Advisory Committee which will offer recommendations on ways to improve the national freight transportation system. The committee will comprise of at least 25 members who have "various perspectives on freight transportation". According to the DoT the committee will seek to balance the following interests of State Departments of Transportation, local planning offices, shippers, air cargo, freight forwarders, rail, maritime, trucking, labor unions, safety, and the environment.

The MAP-21 act is a funding and authorization bill to govern federal surface transportation spending. The legislation extends federal highway, rail and transit programs for 27 months, authorizing $120 billion in spending, financed by the existing 18.4 cents-a-gallon gasoline tax and the 24.4 cents-a-gallon diesel tax. As well as creating a national strategic freight plan, the act is hoped to speed up project development from around eight years, down to less than four.

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