The American Trucking Associations on Thursday, Sept. 30, announced its support of the Freight Focus Act of 2010, introduced by Rep. Laura Richardson (D-Calif.). The legislation would address critical freight transportation needs, focusing resources on the nation’s most important goods movement corridors. Rather than draw resources from the Highway Trust Fund, much of the funding would come from additional user fees paid by those modes that benefit from projects funded through a competitive process administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Furthermore, the bill makes sure that revenue is distributed according to each mode’s financial contribution to the program.
“This legislation will go a long way toward addressing critical bottlenecks on our nation’s most important highway corridors,” says Bill Graves, ATA president and chief executive officer. “These chokepoints cost the trucking industry tens of billions of dollars each year and force trucks to waste a tremendous amount of fuel. With Congresswoman Richardson’s help, we can begin to fix these problem areas, which will reduce shipping costs and lower emissions from all vehicles.”
ATA says it is aware of other freight proposals under consideration by Congress and looks look forward to continuing to work with members and the administration to come up with the best available solutions to address the nation’s freight transportation challenges. ATA says it also encourages Congress to pass a transportation authorization bill as soon as possible to address transportation infrastructure needs.
ATA has agreed to support a diesel tax increase to fund the most pressing freight needs on the nation’s highway system, but it also recognizes that this will not be sufficient to address all surface transportation challenges. The association has encouraged Congress to pass a similar gasoline tax increase to fund additional projects with significant national and regional benefits.