The VTI National Transport Library Catalogue

U.S. Department of Transportation's research and development needs for the future Downey, Mortimer L

By: Downey, Mortimer LPublication details: Transportation Research Board. Conference proceedings, 1997Description: nr 12, s. 23-7Subject(s): USA | Conference | | Public transport | Freight transport | | Transport authority | Education | Research project | Policy | | 12 | 111 | 01 | J05 | J04 | 01Bibl.nr: VTI P9000:12Location: Abstract: Integrating our transportation systems with their physical and technological differences, geographic dispersions, different owners, different customers, and different patterns of labor organization will take an ongoing effort that stretches over many years. But that effort, no matter how complex, no matter how demanding, is essential and we need to continue it. We continue to face growing travel demand, inadequate capacity, bottlenecks, poor connections between modes and an aging and deteriorating infrastructure. We cannot take any of that lightly. Intermodalism will help us enable the system users, the military, private shippers, and government transportation agencies to use the best mode or combination of modes to meet their needs in moving people and goods and reduce the burden on system segments, especially when such a strategy is cheaper than major new construction. Doing that means ensuring good compatible connections between modes and providing genuine consumer choice. Government's role in promoting intermodalism has to take different forms. We should continue our efforts at deregulation to end economic distortion. As the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) has mandated, government at all levels must improve their transportation planning process to ensure that the best projects are chosen for investment of federal funds. The federal government can provide leadership in this effort. The creation of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Office of Intermodalism and of a DOT-wide Directorate of Technology Deployment are steps in this direction. The Bureau of Transportation Statistics is intermodal in its orientation and available to provide data that are useful for all modes and all sectors. DOT is also devoting increasingly greater proportions of its research to intermodal topics and to programs that transcend the modes. DOT believes it is critical to shift some of our research resources into the soft side, that is, into policy and institutional research. Through the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) barriers to local-level intermodal planning and operations are being identified. DOT is acting to improve data availability on all aspects of system performance and for the systems that collect and distribute these data. This is essential for effective intermodal planning and decision making in both government and business. DOT is providing educational and training assistance. Both the National Transit Institute and the National Highway Institute support intermodal programs that offer training and employee development in areas across the traditional lines. The Rural Transit Assistance and the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program also provide extensive intermodal training and technical assistance. DOT is undertaking extensive outreach on research issues through the Volpe Center in Cambridge and through the Turner Fairbanks Center in the Washington area. All of these efforts contribute to an intermodal research agenda that is technological, institutional, informational, and educational.
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Integrating our transportation systems with their physical and technological differences, geographic dispersions, different owners, different customers, and different patterns of labor organization will take an ongoing effort that stretches over many years. But that effort, no matter how complex, no matter how demanding, is essential and we need to continue it. We continue to face growing travel demand, inadequate capacity, bottlenecks, poor connections between modes and an aging and deteriorating infrastructure. We cannot take any of that lightly. Intermodalism will help us enable the system users, the military, private shippers, and government transportation agencies to use the best mode or combination of modes to meet their needs in moving people and goods and reduce the burden on system segments, especially when such a strategy is cheaper than major new construction. Doing that means ensuring good compatible connections between modes and providing genuine consumer choice. Government's role in promoting intermodalism has to take different forms. We should continue our efforts at deregulation to end economic distortion. As the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) has mandated, government at all levels must improve their transportation planning process to ensure that the best projects are chosen for investment of federal funds. The federal government can provide leadership in this effort. The creation of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Office of Intermodalism and of a DOT-wide Directorate of Technology Deployment are steps in this direction. The Bureau of Transportation Statistics is intermodal in its orientation and available to provide data that are useful for all modes and all sectors. DOT is also devoting increasingly greater proportions of its research to intermodal topics and to programs that transcend the modes. DOT believes it is critical to shift some of our research resources into the soft side, that is, into policy and institutional research. Through the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) barriers to local-level intermodal planning and operations are being identified. DOT is acting to improve data availability on all aspects of system performance and for the systems that collect and distribute these data. This is essential for effective intermodal planning and decision making in both government and business. DOT is providing educational and training assistance. Both the National Transit Institute and the National Highway Institute support intermodal programs that offer training and employee development in areas across the traditional lines. The Rural Transit Assistance and the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program also provide extensive intermodal training and technical assistance. DOT is undertaking extensive outreach on research issues through the Volpe Center in Cambridge and through the Turner Fairbanks Center in the Washington area. All of these efforts contribute to an intermodal research agenda that is technological, institutional, informational, and educational.

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