U.S. Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.) last week introduced a bipartisan bill that would create a dedicated funding source for freight-related infrastructure projects.
H.R. 3001, the National Multimodal and Sustainable Freight Infrastructure Act, would build on the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, which outlines for the first time a national freight policy, according to a press release issued by Lowenthal's office.
The new bill incorporates ideas from Lowenthal's earlier proposals on freight infrastructure financing to set up both formula and competitive programs to invest in freight infrastructure systems. Through a 1 percent fee on the cost of transporting goods, the measure would raise about $8 billion a year dedicated to freight-related infrastructure projects.
"Goods movement is the backbone of our economy. In order to maintain the standing of the United States as a global economic leader, we must invest in expanding the capacity, reliability, and efficiency of our nation's goods movement system and freight infrastructure," Lowenthal said. "And yet, that infrastructure is crumbling around us. We must take action to rebuild it and strengthen it, all in a way that also addresses the negative impacts of goods movement on our communities."
In a press release issued yesterday, the Coalition for America's Gateways & Trade Corridors (CAGTC) endorsed the Lowenthal bill.
"This proposal comes at a critical juncture, when Congress and the [Trump] administration are seeking to bolster economic competitiveness through infrastructure investment and tax reform," said CAGTC Chairman Tim Lovain.