House bill would boost freight, transportation funding with 1 percent shipping fee

highway roadA bill reintroduced in the U.S. House last week would, if passed, take steps toward bolstering federal funding for freight movement projects in the U.S. by implementing a 1 percent shipping fee, to be paid by the entity paying for the shipment, per the bill. 

Funds from the 1 percent fee would be deposited directly into the National Freight Mobility Fund and would be used to issue grants for projects that would help increase the efficiency of freight movement in the U.S. 

The bill, dubbed the Freight Infrastructure Reinvestment Act, was introduced by Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.). 

“Our nation’s freight transportation system plays a significant role in our ability to grow the economy and compete globally,” said Smith.  “With our nation’s freight expected to double by 2040, it is critical to start making investments in freight and transportation infrastructure now to keep America competitive internationally for years to come.”

The bill would also establish a National Freight Mobility Infrastructure Improvement Program, which would rely on planners to work with communities to find projects to help increase national or regional freight flow.

Those planners would then apply for grants, and the secretary of transportation would determine who gets the federal money, based on a project’s cost effectiveness, economic impact and its ability to help freight infrastructure. 

Click here to see text of the bill. 

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