Friday, July 18, 2014

CAGTC endorses Build America Investment Initiative

Written by  William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
Mort Downey, CAGTC Founding Chairman Mort Downey, CAGTC Founding Chairman
The Coalition for America’s Gateways and Trade Corridors (CAGTC), a freight transportation advocacy group, has endorsed the Obama Administration’s Build America Investment Initiative, which consists of plans to move infrastructure projects and the economy forward through a new Executive Action.

The Initiative will create the Build America Transportation Investment Center, which will provide “navigator service” for the public and private sector; improved access to DOT credit programs; technical assistance; and “information to reduce uncertainty and delays.”

“A multifaceted approach, the Initiative will provide tools and assistance to increase the value of infrastructure investment through improved access to credit assistance programs and new tools for communities and investors interested in forming public-private partnerships,” said Parsons Brinckerhoff Senior Advisor and CAGTC Founding Chairman Mort Downey. “Several of the Initiative’s elements were recently recommended by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Freight Advisory Committee (NFAC), which noted in its recent recommendations on development of the National Freight Strategic Plan that many time and money saving advances could be made in project delivery and financing.”

Downey, a former Deputy U.S. Transportation Secretary, is Acting Chairman of the NFAC. “We’re happy to see that President Obama’s campaign for increased transportation investment is going to a new level,” he said. “The current Congressional effort to find a temporary fix for Highway Trust Fund shortfalls is only a band-aid, and the Administration’s focus is correctly on the need for long-term action and adequate resources. As part of this investment strategy, the Administration’s decision to create institutions to help move public-private partnerships through the process and to expedite the environmental and permits process is another important step. It’s particularly relevant for the complex intermodal freight investments that have been a key part of the CAGTC agenda. We look forward to helping our members take advantage of the new opportunities that will be created.”

CAGTC describes itself as “a diverse coalition of more than 60 public and private organizations dedicated to increasing federal investment in America’s intermodal freight infrastructure. In contrast to single mode interests, CAGTC’s main mission is to promote a seamless goods movement transportation system across all modes to enhance capacity and economic growth.”

For more information on the Coalition for America’s Gateways and Trade Corridors, visit www.tradecorridors.org.