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9 modes: trucking, railroads, inland waterway towing, ports and some of the most important policy decisions affecting these maritime, and air cargo. The types of documents identified two modes. include Federal and state regulatory impact analyses, reports For approximately ten policies or policy areas, the research from Federal agencies such as the U.S. Government Account- team performed a more detailed analysis of freight system ability Office (GAO), congressional testimony, academic jour- impacts. The research team also conducted four case studies to nal articles, news stories, and TRB publications. better understand the background and factors that led to a pol- In the next phase of the project, the research team built on icy action, the positions of stakeholders on the issue, and the the information gathered in the literature search by interview- effects of the policy action on the freight system. ing freight transportation stakeholders, primarily industry executives and academic researchers. The goal of the inter- Report Organization views was to find out directly from industry experts which public policies have had the largest or most unexpected effects The remainder of this report consists of five chapters and on the freight system. The research team developed a standard four appendices. Chapter 2 offers an overview of the freight interview questionnaire, which was then customized for each transportation system, describing each of the major modes, the transportation mode. The research team conducted approxi- infrastructure, the private-sector stakeholders, and the general mately 40 stakeholder interviews across all of the primary role of government. Chapter 3 identifies public policies that modes of freight transport. can affect the freight transportation system in nine policy cat- Based on the results of the literature search and the stake- egories. Chapter 4 reviews 23 public policies to assess their holder interviews, the research team amended and winnowed freight system impacts and the degree to which the impacts its initial list of policies to identify approximately 12 policies were unexpected. Chapter 5 contains four case studies that most worthy of further analysis. In developing this list, we present a more in-depth examination of select policy decisions. looked for policy choices with relatively strong and recent Chapter 6 presents a summary and synthesis of the research, impacts on the freight modes and the efficiency of their oper- including an examination of the role that information plays in ations. For this purpose, the research team relied on the liter- influencing policy decisions. ature and, importantly, on freight industry reactions to policy Appendix A lists the interviewees and focus group partici- issues. pants. Appendix B contains a more detailed discussion of the The research team held two focus groups with trucking effects of five specific policies. Appendix C lists the literature industry experts and railroad industry experts. The focus reviewed as part of this study. Appendix D lists abbreviations, groups provided an opportunity for an in-depth discussion of acronyms, and initialisms found throughout the report.