Planning and Policy

Status: Completed

Relevant California state agencies and departments are working together to develop the California Sustainable Freight Strategy for a sustainable freight transport system that relies on zero and near-zero emission equipment powered by renewable energy sources. This equipment also meets multiple goals, including: enhancing the economic competitiveness and efficiency of California’s logistics system, creating jobs, and increasing the safety and livability of freight corridors. As part of this effort, researchers from the National Center for Sustainable Transportation worked with representatives from state agencies, industry, non-governmental agencies, and academia to draft a series of five white papers that examine broad-based approaches to increase the efficiency of the freight system.

Increasing trade volumes at freight hubs and nodes, including maritime ports, airports, intermodal facilities, and border crossings, provide significant economic benefit but also social costs. Increased volume of trade creates jobs, generates state and local tax revenue, and creates positive externalities. High trade volumes also impose costs, including vehicle congestion, collisions, environmental costs, and increased infrastructure development and maintenance and preservation costs. This white paper explores the ways that state departments of transportation can enhance their policy and planning efforts—and the outreach efforts that inform those processes—to better implement infrastructure, operational, and technology based modernization strategies to improve system productivity and efficiency.

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