US Senate Building

A New Bill Rolls Out Transportation Authorization

Committee members from the US Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW) released a bipartisan, 6-year transportation bill on May 14. It’s designed to improve the country’s highway programs at current funding levels plus inflation.

Two years ago, a program was launched to reform how transportation dollars were spent. A performance-based approach that shifted investments to local and state governments and improved the structure of main highway programs. It was titled Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21). This is the MAP-21 Reauthorization Act, a continuation of that bill, as the original legislation is set to expire by the end of the fiscal year.

This newer bill has some freight-related provisions that directly affects all of us in the industry. Hopefully for the better.

There will be a formula-based freight program, funding states for the improvement of goods movement along important corridors, helping to reduce costs and improving performance for businesses.

Some other provisions for the freight industry are:

  • Expand flexibility for rural and urban areas to designate key freight corridors that match regional goods movement on roads beyond the Primary Freight Highway Network.
  • Improve efforts to identify projects with a high return on investment through state freight plans and advisory committees established under MAP-21.
  • Provide new funds to projects of national or regional significance through a competitive grant program.
  • Provide new provisions to improve the transparency of how and where transportation projects are selected and funded to ensure that stakeholders and the public have faith in the integrity of highway programs and the use of Federal tax dollars.
  • Develop a national freight strategic plan that would assess the condition and performance of national freight networks and identify highway bottlenecks on the national freight network that create much freight congestion.

It’s probably best to end on this last one, though there are more provisions. The thought of our quarrelsome US senate reaching across the aisle and agreeing that rush hour traffic is cause for Federal attention is enough to refuel one’s hope in humanity. Better leave off on the high note.

Action Transport, Inc. has been helping shippers move their freight and get a handle on the industry for over forty years. As a family-owned company, we know the determination it takes to grow a successful business. We’re here to do our part. Get an LTL, full truckload or rail quote for your next shipment right now and let us help you get moving.