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SECTION 3 What Can Be Done to Better Align Public and Private Freight Interests There are actions public officials can take that help better align public and private freight inter- ests. This section describes these mechanisms and contains the answers to the question: "What can the public sector do?" If these actions are implemented by public agencies, the enormous challenges the country faces from the demand on its freight transportation system may be more easily solved. Summary of Lessons for Successful Cooperation from Case Studies Freight projects involving both public and private sectors were evaluated for this study. The case studies are described in greater detail in Appendix D to this report. Key lessons for success- ful cooperation between public and private entities were gathered from these case studies. Among these lessons are the following: Building and maintaining communication and cooperation among the many private and pub- lic stakeholders is an absolute necessity. Educating the public on the benefits of freight projects through public outreach and in the media is important to overcome any opposition to freight activity. Being aware of how a joint public and private process works is important at the start; Maintaining key companies and officials who have undertaken an initiative is essential. It is important to keep institutional memory. Managing new multijurisdictional freight infrastructure projects through a governing agency with responsibility for the design and construction of the project is important. Clearly identifying the public and private project benefits to cement the desire for both sides to make a project work is essential. Public sector understanding of the private requirements for funding and the timing of financial flows to make publicprivate partnerships work better is critical. Hire Qualified Public Agency Decision-Making Support Staff Public agencies need to have staff able to support the decision-making process in order to ful- fill their roles in the freight system. These staff should have training and experience to partici- pate in the decision-making processes, with specialized skills for each type of decision making as appropriate for the agency. Though maintaining staff capability for freight can be especially challenging for local and met- ropolitan area-level public agencies, there are federal training programs to support employee development in such areas as freight transportation planning and policy making. 22