The Department of Transportation is asking for nominations for a committee that will establish the National Freight Strategic Plan that's called for in last year's highway bill, and has proposed a process for desgnating a national freight network.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced the establishment of a National Freight Advisory Committee to provide recommendations aimed at improving the national freight transportation system.
The recent transportation bill, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century, or MAP-21, signed by President Obama in July 2012, established a national freight policy and called for the creation of a National Freight Strategic Plan.
The Advisory Committee will represent diverse geographic, modal, and policy interests, such as safety, labor and the environment, according to the DOT. It will make recommendations to the Secretary of Transportation on how DOT can improve its freight transportation policies and programs.
The committee will be made up of at least 25 voting members from outside of DOT who have various perspectives on freight transportation, including mode, region, policy areas, freight customers and providers, and government entities, and will meet at least three times per year.
The DOT is soliciting nominations for members of the National Freight Advisory Committee. Instructions on how to submit nominations will be available in the Federal Register notice which will publish in the coming days.
As for the National Freight Network, the DOT propose that the Secretary of Transportation will designate the most critical existing interstates and roads as the primary freight network. This network will consist of up to 27,000 miles of existing interstate and other roadways. It will also include the possible addition of 3,000 miles of existing and planned roadways necessary for the efficient movement of goods in the future.
The Department is requesting comments on the proposed process. Instructions on how to submit comments are available in the Federal Register notice available here: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-02-06/html/2013-02580.htm.
Additional information on the National Freight Advisory Committee is available here: http://www.freight.dot.gov/freight_nfac.cfm.