News and Commentary

Prioritize Projects to Ease Bottlenecks, Testimony 6/26/2013 House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
Posted 07/18/2013

Traditionally, government treated each mode of transportation in its own "silo." Congress has tried to more effectively link the modes, notable beginning with the 1992 Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act ("ISTEA"). Nonetheless, according to David Abney, chief operating officer of UPS Inc., the effort remains a "patchork":

America needs a freight system that's built like a network, and I encourage Congress to take a long-term, coordinated view of how the different modes can work together.


House Passed Farm Bill Includes Mandate for Study of Rail Costs
Posted 07/18/2013

The farm bill passed on July 11, 2013 by the House of Representatives includes a provision that requires Departments of Transportation and Agriculture to produce a report on the cost of shipping goods via freight rail. More

Hours-of-Service — Enforcement and Productivity Impacts
Began July 1, 2013

Posted 07/18/2013

FMCSA says only the most extreme schedules will be affected, i.e. "more than 85% of the truck driving workforce will see no changes." FMCSA estimated that the new rules will save 19 lives and prevent about 1,400 crashes and 560 injuries each year. FMCSA claims: "These fatigue-fighting rules for truck drivers were carefully crafted based on years of scientific research and unprecedented stakeholder outreach." "The result is a fair and balanced approach that will result in an estimated $280 milliion in savings from fewer large truck crashes and $470 million in savings from improved driver health. Most importantly, it wills save lives," according to FMCSA Administrator Ferro. More

UPS on Alternative Fuel Commercial Vehicles
Posted 07/18/2013

UPS will soon have more than 1,000 LNG trucks to complement its fleet of 1,015 CNG vehicles. Since 2000, UPS has run more than 300 million miles on alternative fuels and expects to hit 500 million in 2015. UPS has deployed more than 2,700 vehicles using an array of technology that includes propane, electric and hydraulic hybrids, compressed natural gas, electric plug-ins and other methods. More

Surface Transportation Board's Balancing Act - Chairman Elliott Speaks
Posted 01/24/2012

STB Chair Daniel Elliott Keynoted the luncheon held jointly with the Traffic Club of Chicago at the Midwest Association of Rail Shippers Winter Meeting 1/11/2012.  He emphasized STB's/his goal of promoting dialogue between railroads and shippers, acting as a bridge between Congress and railroads-shippers, and informal dispute resolution vs. litigation. STB's dispute resolution process handled 93 cases in 2000, 1,406 in 2010 and more last year. These are mostly rate cases. More

MARS Keynoter Highlights Intermodal Opportunity for MAFC States
Posted 01/24/2012

The 10 States of the Mid-America Freight Coalition and neighboring Canadian Provinces, are the own best trading partners. Leading-off the Midwest Association of Rail Shippers Winter Meeting 1/11/2012, CSX Executive VP and Chief Commercial Officer, Clarence Gooden, highlighted the impending impact and opportunities from the Eastern Class Is investment in double-stack routes linking a network of new and upgraded intermodal terminals. More

Reality Checkpoint Mid-2010
Posted 07/06/2010

Those hopeful expectations of 2007 and 2008 for a new systemic mobility perspective and overhaul of funding for our transportation infrastructure buckled under the weight of: (1) the credit crisis, bailouts, recession and lagging jobs recovery; (2) posturing on climate change and energy followed by consumption of Congressional energies on healthcare, followed by a grassroots awakening to deficit, debt and fear of governmental over-reach; and (3) immersion of government and media in Gulf oil in the shadow of mid-term elections. Time to check-out? More

Posted 07/06/2010

Like its predecessor, notwithstanding its 9/30/2009 expiration date, SAFETEA-LU has been blessed with multiple extensions now running through year end 2010 and almost certainly faces further extension(s) into 2011. Is Congress going to get serious about "the Surface Transportation Authorization Act"? More

MVFC Recommendations for Reauthorization
Posted 07/06/2010

Mississippi Valley Freight Coalition has posted simple, straight forward recommendations, nicely displayed in a set of one pagers at the MVFC updated web site. MVFC recommendations on "Freight Funding Programs" are right on target; but, by failing to address competition issues, we think MVFC's recommendations on "Rail Transportation" fall seriously short of the mark. More

State Rail Plan Resurgence, Overcoming the Oxymoronic
Posted 07/06/2010

Acess to the newly available federal funding requires a State Rail Plan, hence, the resurgence. The term "state" in "State Rail Plan," in most cases is something of an oxymoron; and, fortunately, those responsible for the new State Plans are at least beginning to embrace to the idea that rail planning requires looking beyond their own state's borders. More

Wisconsin Central Group and LSSA Projects
Posted 07/06/2010

Be sure to check-in on the new Wisconsin Central Group site and on the Lake States Shippers Association Inc.newly incorporated and operating under the auspices of the Michigan Forest Products Council. More

CCFC, Update, Working on CCFC Agenda for 2008-2010
Posted 02/08/2008

From 2002 CCFC through 2006, CCFC participated in workshops of the Midwest Freight Corridor Study to contribute private sector perspectives on creation of what is now the 10-state Mississippi Valley Freight Coalition. For 2008-2009, MVFC will receive some $750,000 of federal funding, through the National Center for Freight and Infrastructure Research and Education ("CFIRE") at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, to promote regional cooperation and coordination. More

CCFC, Our Working Agenda for 2006
Posted 01/04/2006

A draft of the CCFC 2006 Agenda Items 1 through 10 (“CCFC2006/1-10”) was presented to DOT representatives of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, Illinois and Ohio, at the opening workshop of Phase II of the Upper Midwest Freight Corridor Study (“UMFCS”), at Milwaukee 11/15/2005. This was the first of a series of Phase II workshops which are to be held with the objective of arriving at an agenda for a Regional Freight Strategy. More

CCFC Organization To Proceed
Posted 07/08/2005

The message delivered by 30 plus attendees at CCFC's “pre-organizational” meeting, June 23, 2005: Get on with it, already. The directive of CCFC's Steering Committee is to proceed. The Central Corridors Freight Committee will be formally launched in October, 2005 in conjunction with an issues forum aimed at “defining a regional agenda for freight” and obtaining recognition of the “national and regional significance” of the key routes which constitute the “Central Corridors”. More

Phase II Upper Midwest Freight Corridor Study
Posted 05/20/2005

CCFC has communicated to State officials its support for Phase II. The proposed 10-month public-sector project, scheduled for late 2005 through mid-2006, aims to facilitate development of a regional freight agenda for the 7-state upper midwest region (Phase II description). Our plan is that Phase II and CCFC's inaugural efforts will converge to focus attention and establish institutional continuity for public and private sector cooperation on freight mobility for the upper midwest, at the regional level. More

"Highway Bill" - Grist for CCFC's Mill
Posted 04/01/2005

The House version of reauthorization, HR-3, passed following acceptance of a “manager's amendment” which served up the pork and a couple of surprises, on 3/10/2005. HR-3 addresses freight mobility in a big way. More

CCFC Message Delivered To Transportation Infrastructure Forum
Posted 10/15/2004

"Building the New Wisconsin Economy" is a two-year civic journalism project designed to engage the public and stimulate a high-profile, ongoing discussion about the importance of economic development in Wisconsin. BNWE held its forum on “Infrastructure” (energy, transportation, and telecommunications) on 8/17/04 at Waukesha. More

CCFC's Public Sector Partner, Anticipated Recommendation
Posted 10/15/2004

The Upper Midwest Freight Corridor Study will be set for release to the public by year end 2004. CCFC counsel attended the final workshop on the Upper Midwest Freight Corridor Study, August 10-11, at Chicago. Follow-up confirms that final work, review and release of the Study are on schedule. More

CCFC to Support Permanent Public Sector Group for Upper Midwest Region Transportation Coordination
Posted 08/10/2004

Representatives of 7 states and 2 provinces will meet at Chicago, August 10-11, 2004 for the final workshop on the Upper Midwest Freight Corridor Study. The Study is set for release in October, 2004. Since late 2002, these workshops and advisory committee meetings have served as a forum for looking at freight from a regional perspective. Participants from the public, private and academic sectors have identified the coming challenges to mobility which threaten to stifle the economy of the region. More






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