Insights - January 2016 - (Page 5)

FAST Act Moves Freight Forward It's not perfect, but the surface transportation bill - Fixing America's Surface Transportation - is law, bringing with it some very positive steps towards a better freight transportation network. Among them are a competitive grant program, the Nationally Significant Freight and Highway Projects program, which includes funding for rail/ intermodal projects. The FAST Act also calls for a federal multimodal freight policy and mandates state freight plans. It does not include increases in truck size and weight or use of 33-foot tandem trailers. Intermodal Insights talked to Elaine Nessle, executive director of the Coalition for America's Gateways and Trade Corridors, about what is in the new law. We discussed some of the more visible components, like CSA reform, along with some of the more subtle, yet significant elements. The conversation reflects direct quotes and paraphrases of Ms. Nessle's comments, edited for brevity and clarity. legislation calls for what is termed a correlation study, requiring the National Academies of Sciences to study the CSA program and how the Safety Measurement System, or SMS, scores roll up into BASIC scores. The goal is to determine how to ensure the scores correlate with driver safety. The CSA program was the focus of a 2014 Government Accountability Office report, which found that most regulations used to calculate scores are not violated enough to strongly associate with crash risk, and most carriers lack sufficient data for peer comparison. "That played into this as well. And what the FMCSA will have to do is look at that GAO study and the results of the study that is being called for under the FAST Act. After reviewing the results of those studies, FMCSA will have to develop a plan to address any of the concerns expressed in the studies and to improve the accuracy of the program," says Nessle. CSA Reform The veteran hiring initiative was included in the final law, allowing veterans with relevant experience who might be under the current minimum age to qualify for a commercial driver license. Though the law did not include a similar provision for younger Under the FAST Act, Compliance, Safety, Accountability Behavioral Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories, or BASIC, scores are hidden from public view until reforms are made to the calculation process. The Other Driver Issues non-military personnel, it did allow for an intrastate pilot program for drivers under the age of 21. Freight-Specific Infrastructure Grants The Nationally Significant Freight and Highway Projects program is the first-ever, freight-specific competitive grant program. There is $800 million available for fiscal year 2016. According to Nessle, "U.S. DOT will have to move swiftly to issue a notice of funding availability to get this process kicked off. The program has $4.5 billion over the five-year period [FAST covers]. It ramps up each year so that by FY2020, there is $1 billion available through this competitive grant program." The NSFHP complements the familiar TIGER grant program. TIGER is designed to address different mobility needs, not just freight, and TIGER is for smaller projects, while the NSFHP is a mega-projects program. The threshold for applying for a project under the NSFHP competitive grant program under FAST is $100 million; TIGER requires a total project cost of $12.5 million. There is still a significant role for the TIGER program because there are projects that would be too small FAST - continued on page 7 Nominations Sought for Silver Kingpin Award A "Call for Silver Kingpin Nominations" will be sent to all IANA voting members the first week of March. Nominations will close on April 1, to be followed by ballot selection of candidates. The Silver Kingpin Award is presented annually to an individual for outstanding career-long contributions that have advanced the intermodal freight industry. Presentation of the award will take place at Intermodal EXPO 2016, set for Sept. 18-20 in Houston. For the Award criteria and nomination process details, contact Jim Morrow, IANA's assistant vice president for membership, at or 301-982-3400, ext. 314. IANA's Silver Kingpin Award January 2016 | Intermodal Insights 5

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Insights - January 2016

Bill Would Eliminate Risk of Port Slowdowns
Driver Coercion Rule Finalized
Five-Year Transportation Bill Passed
Broome and George Join IANA Board
IANA Names New 2016 Officers
IANA Welcomes New General Counsel
Sustainability News
FAST Act Moves Freight Forward
Nominations Sought for Silver Kingpin Award
Legislation and Regulation Top the Intermodal Stories of 2015
Freight Reports
Port News
People in the News
Welcome New Members
In Brief
2015 Article Index by Subject
Intermodal Calendar

Insights - January 2016