National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission

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Final Report - Volume 3: Introduction

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Volume III of the National Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission (Commission) Report to Congress has 9 sections consisting of material prepared for, or made available to, the Commission. The technical issue papers, scenario analyses, and special issue analyses were written to assist the Commission in its deliberations and to help inform its decision-making. The views and analyses contained in the papers, as well as the comments of the members of the Blue Ribbon Panel of Transportation Experts (BRPTE) on those papers, represent the views of the authors and reviewers, and do not represent the views of the Section 1909 Commission, or the United States Department of Transportation.

Section 1: Technical Issue Papers

A series of technical issue papers relating to a broad array of relevant surface transportation topics were prepared for the Commission and are found in this section. Given the large number of topics, the papers were limited to 10 pages in length. The papers were not intended to provide an in-depth analysis of the topic, but rather to give an overview of the current data and literature, and to synthesize a “state-of-the-practice” consensus on issues relevant to the Commission’s charge. There are several gaps in the numbering of the papers, as not all papers originally contemplated were completed. The Commission also requested that members of the BRPTE review and comment on these technical papers. Various members of the BRPTE volunteered to review specific papers. These BRPTE comments are appended at the end of the technical papers. Comments were not received on every paper. Time and resource constraints did not allow paper authors to revise their drafts based on the BRPTE comments.

Section 2: Scenario Analyses

Section 2 contains papers that describe scenarios analyzed by the Commission related to future investment requirements for each mode. Scenarios differ in terms of the extent to which changes in current investment patterns were assumed to change in the future. In addition to funding levels, other factors varied in the scenario were the level of operational improvements assumed to be implemented, the extent to which pricing and demand management strategies were implemented, the extent to which passenger and freight operations were separated on the highway and rail modes, and the extent to which advanced technologies such as Vehicle Infrastructure Integration were deployed.

Section 3: Special Issue Analyses

Section 3 contains papers that were prepared to address issues in which the Commission determined there were deficiencies in existing information. A broad variety of topics were assessed including models for an independent surface transportation governance commission, options for reducing project delivery times, and estimates of proceeds from alternative Federal, State, and local revenue options.

Section 4: Public Sessions and Outreach Commission Meetings

This section consists of the agenda, testimony, and transcripts of the 7 meetings held by the Commission in Washington, D.C.

Section 5: Field Hearings

This section consists of the agenda, testimony and transcripts of the 10 Field Hearings held by the Commission in various parts of the Nation.

Section 6: Commissioner Submissions and Presentations

Several Commissioners submitted their thoughts on specific aspects of the future of U.S. Surface Transportation. These papers are reproduced here.

Section 7: Submissions by the Blue Ribbon Panel of Transportation Experts

The Commission requested members of the BRPTE to submit papers on their ideas relating to the future of surface transportation in the United States. These papers are found in this Section.

Section 8: Background Papers

In addition to the papers prepared especially for the Commission, other materials were also provided to it by various groups and individuals, and are reproduced in this Section.

Section 9: Historical Documents

This section contains various historical documents relating to surface transportation in the United States. Many of these documents, which were secured for the Commission’s review, are difficult to find and access. They are reproduced in this Section to make them more readily available for future research on the history and evolution of the Nation’s surface transportation policy and funding.

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