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47 As a result, a rich array of railroad freight performance data is commuter rail service, highwayrailroad crossings, and available, particularly at the national or corporate level. The other local transportation projects. Highway designers have basic data available that already are used for performance or voiced repeatedly the need for information regarding the rail- statistical measurement include: road's long-term track-expansion plans and how those plans may affect the repair or construction of highwayrailroad · Data on overall rail volumes, both for passenger and overpasses.2 freight, by railroad and by type of commodity on a weekly, Thus, although extensive performance and statistical data monthly, and annual basis; exist regarding national and regional railroad performance, · Extensive information on rail safety, including not only the information needs of individual shippers and local stake- highwayrail crashes but also injuries and fatalities to holders are not so well met. It should be noted, however, that trespassers, railroad employees, and others on railroad the same is true regarding the other modes of travel. The ser- property; vice patterns, prices, and frequencies of inland barge compa- · Information on hazardous material cargoes, in terms of nies, air freight carriers, and truckers likewise constitute pro- volumes and releases--including various categories of re- prietary information that is seldom shared with the public leases caused by accidental spills or crash-caused releases; and local policy makers. · Environmental and energy data, including the volume of fuel used, which can then be extrapolated into GHE, NOx, Maritime Industry Perspectives and other air pollutants; and · Extensive financial data, including not only total revenues, The U.S. Marine Transportation System (MTS) is a vast, profits, return on income, and return on equity but also diverse system of waterways and ports stretching along all whether railroads have earned their cost of capital. U.S. coasts, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico and deep into the con- tinental interior along the Mississippi, Missouri, and Ohio What is not as readily available is information at a local river systems. The physical network consists of more than level or at an individual producer level. For instance, Class I 1,000 harbor channels; 25,000 miles of inland, intercoastal, railroads have significantly increased their revenue and prof- and coastal waterways; 300 ports; and 3,700 terminals.3 This itability by hauling larger volumes over longer distances to system is responsible for approximately $673 billions' worth improve their efficiencies and economies of scale. Just between of goods movement or 5.2 percent of the nation's total value 2006 and 2007, average length of haul rose from 905.6 miles of freight and 8.6 percent of all tons shipped.4 per train to 912.8 miles,1 a trend that has been evident for sev- In addition to its physical diversity, the MTS involves eral decades. This reflects their increased hauling of massive multiple stakeholders--private ship owners, public and pri- volumes of coal from Wyoming and their increased move- vate terminal operators, labor unions, the owners of modal ment of high-valued intermodal containers containing Asian connections into port facilities, and local, state, and federal imports. These relatively long-haul movements may have government agencies that regulate and promote waterborne reduced the volume of long-haul truck moves on highways, traffic. In recent years, this government network has been with commensurate savings in fuel, emissions, infrastructure substantially augmented by security forces concerned about deterioration, and crashes. However, the increased model of drugs, terrorism, and immigration. These governmental "hook and haul" of large-unit trains has resulted in some loss functions are in addition to the historic national regulatory of service to local shippers. This has become a significant function of capturing import duties and tariffs. issue in some markets, such as among grain producers who It is also important to recognize that there are many dif- are captive to one railroad. Local producers of commodi- ferent types of ports, further complicating measurement and ties such as grain, timber, ethanol, chemicals, and minerals comparison efforts. The equipment of ports that primarily often desire rail service as an alternative to truck or to water. handle containers is different from that of ports or terminals While extensive data exist regarding what railroads haul, less that handle bulk commodities such as petroleum, chemicals, information is available about what service they have dis grain, aggregates, minerals, or coal. Inland waterway ports continued, particularly at the local, regional, or individual tend to be commodity specific to serve local industries such producer level. This type of local service information is of as steel production, mining, grain production, or mineral acute interest to many public officials, as well as to the private extraction. The size and scale of ports differ considerably, as producers who desire rail service. do the ports' connections to local highways, railroads, and Likewise, local transportation planners have complained pipelines. The geographic location of ports varies consider- about a lack of information regarding very localized rail ably, with some of them on the coasts but others miles inland operations that may affect plans for passenger rail service, on river channels. These variations compound the differences