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2 CHAPTER 1 Introduction 1.1 Research Need that promote the importance of freight, leverage our financial resources, and identify and invest in agreed-on priorities while The national freight transportation system is essential to providing calculable benefits for all partners. the global economy, providing the gateways for our inter- national trade, the corridors connecting our domestic markets, and the activity hubs that serve our population and indus- 1.2 Research Objective trial centers. With shrinking transportation funding sources, shifts in global trade, and continued population growth, Freight transportation policies, plans, and programs have ad- our transportation system capacity has not kept pace with vanced significantly over the last few decades. A growing under- demand. This imbalance has resulted in increased conges- standing of the importance of freight movement to the nation's tion and delay on and at our transportation corridors and economy has led to increased interest in planning and funding hubs. As our transportation system becomes less and less freight improvements and initiatives by public-sector agencies. reliable, our businesses become less competitive, resulting Unfortunately, good intentions often have been stymied by in increased costs of our goods and services and an overall institutional obstacles that appear insurmountable. degradation of our quality of life. Public and private stake- In the goods movement industry in particular, the wide holders alike recognize the need for new freight transportation variety of private-sector representatives (e.g., carriers at the investment strategies at local, regional, state, multi-state, and local, regional, and national levels; shippers and receivers of national levels. freight; and unions) and public-sector agencies (e.g., ports, Over the past few decades, public agencies and private busi- airports, roadway operators, and regulatory agencies) provide nesses have begun working to address these challenges jointly. the opportunity to collaboratively address many critical issues, Public agencies have developed a better understanding of such as state and national truck motor vehicle certifications, the freight transportation system and its needs, and private congestion along key goods movement corridors, truck rest industry has become more knowledgeable about trans- stops, railroad crossing concerns, conflicts between goods and portation planning programs. This has led to the develop- passenger movement vehicles and flows, and safety and secu- ment of advisory groups, shared funding programs, and new rity. Collaboration works best when (1) institutional relation- partnerships. Bringing these public and private stakeholders ships among the public- and private-sector participants are together for a common purpose has led to increasing numbers strong; (2) there is a sense of mutual benefit among the par- and types of institutional arrangements designed to sup- ties; and (3) efforts are not only made to streamline regulation port freight mobility needs. These arrangements have expe- or expedite the flow of goods, but are reflective of both public- rienced varying degrees of success, providing lessons learned and private-sector needs and concerns. that can guide the activities of new, expanding, or evolving There are several models of successful institutional arrange- freight arrangements. ments in freight transportation. In many instances, success Considerable freight-related research exists; however, limited has come from integration and inclusion of freight consid- work has been undertaken that looks specifically at the develop- erations in existing metropolitan planning organization ment of institutional arrangements in the freight transportation (MPO), state, and Federal transportation programs. Any system. The need is clear--the future of our transportation successful freight program, from a local planning study to system will depend on our ability to develop partnerships a major system development and deployment, relies on the