LaHood responds to ATA letter

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood answered concerns voiced by the American Trucking Associations in a letter noting “truck transportation is and will remain an essential component of the nation’s freight system.”

The June 3 letter responded to a previous ATA letter in which the ATA said the DOT appeared to disproportionately support non-truck transport, such as the rail system and marine highways.

The association’s letter noted LaHood’s statements, including removing “gas-guzzling trucks” from the road as key to the administration’s livability program and the reason why the “lion’s share” of a grant went to freight rail.
LaHood said trucking had “remarkable success” in bettering energy efficiency, emission reduction, safety and cooperation with other transportation modes to improve intermodal ports and terminals. The nation’s intermodal solutions optimally may be a single freight mode or in other cases two or more modes.

Railroads reach just 20 percent of communities and intermodal rail is projected to account for 1.5 percent of freight movement by 2020, the ATA said.