NCFRP Report 6: Impacts of Public Policy on the Freight Transportation System
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NCFRP Report 6:
Impacts of Public Policy on the Freight Transportation System
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TRB's National Cooperative Freight Research Program (NCFRP) Report 6: Impacts of Public Policy on the Freight Transportation System describes the numerous ways that government policy decisions can affect the freight system and, in turn, how understanding the differing concerns and priorities of governments is crucial to better consideration of the potential impacts of public policy.

The report identifies current and recent policy issues with potential freight system impacts, evaluates the magnitude of the impacts, and assesses the extent to which the impacts were unexpected.

Among the types of impacts identified are changes in costs and revenues to freight carriers and shippers, changes in freight volumes or shifts in mode, changes in freight service quality, and changes to freight system operations and safety.

Editor's Note: NCFRP Report 6 (Revised): Impacts of Public Policy on the Freight Transportation System replaces NCFRP Report 6 of the same title, previously distributed. Revisions have been made to two sections of the report, as follows:

• The section on "Truck Size and Weight Rules," in Chapter 4, has been corrected and updated.

• The second paragraph of "Operations and Maintenance Policy," in Chapter 6 under Summary Discussion, has been revised.


  • Transportation — Policy
  • Transportation — Aviation
  • Transportation — Marine Transportation
  • Transportation — Motor Carriers
  • Transportation — Railroads
  • Transportation — Freight Transportation

Publication Info

114 pages | 8.5 x 11

Table of Contents

skim chapter
Front Matter i-ix
Summary 1-7
Methodology 8-8
Report Organization 9-9
The Freight Transportation Modes 10-15
The Role of Government 16-17
Security Policy 18-18
Environmental Policy 19-19
Infrastructure Operations and Maintenance Policy 20-20
Infrastructure Finance Policy 21-21
Trade Policy and Economic Regulation 22-23
HOS Rules for Truck Drivers 24-25
HOS Rules for Train Operators 26-26
Truck Speed Limits and Speed Governor Rules 27-27
Aircraft Fuel Tank Flammability Rules 28-28
Restrictions on Locomotive Horns 29-29
TWIC for Ports and Inland Towboats 30-31
Federal Emission Standards for Diesel Engines 32-32
California In-Use Truck Emission Standards 33-33
Idling Restrictions for Trucks and Locomotives 34-34
Restrictions on Port Drayage Trucks 35-35
Restrictions on Disposal of Port Dredging Spoil 36-36
Water Pollutant Discharge Rules for Vessels 37-37
International Air Emissions Regulations for Vessels 38-38
State Truck Route Restrictions 39-39
Local Policies to Oppose a Railroad Acquisition 40-40
Truck Size and Weight Rules 41-42
Level of Investment in Highway Infrastructure 43-43
Level of Investment in Inland Waterway Infrastructure 44-44
Highway Tolls and Other User Charges 45-45
Peak Pricing for Port Trucks 46-46
Peak Pricing for Airports 47-48
Case Study 1: Local Land Use Policies Affecting Port Facilities and Other Freight Terminals 49-53
Case Study 2: Local Truck Access and Parking Policies 54-57
Case Study 3: Air Cargo Screening Requirements 58-62
Case Study 4: State and Federal Climate Change Policies 63-71
Decisionmaker Constituencies 72-72
Decision Context Framework 73-73
Summary Discussion 74-75
Conclusions 76-78
Appendix A - Interviewees and Focus Group Participants 79-80
Appendix B - Details on Impacts of Selected Policies 81-95
Appendix C - Resources 96-101
Appendix D - Abbreviations, Acronyms, and Initialisms 102-104
Abbreviations used without definitions in TRB publications 105-105

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