Spring 2005 Course Description

Policy Research Project

Section Title: Innovative Strategies to Raise Efficiencies of Transportation Corridors and
Instructor(s): Leigh Boske
Course: P A 882B - Policy Research Project
Unique Number: 62655
Day & Time: Tuesdays, 2:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Room: SRH 3.111
Waitlist Information:For LBJ Students: UT Waitlist Information

Description: This research project, funded by the Congressional Research Service, will examine highly utilized transportation corridors in the context of alternative growth strategies. We intend to analyze a series of freight transportation bottlenecks (along transportation corridors and at hubs) to determine which strategies, or combination of strategies, might insure the most efficient level of service for key commodities flowing into and out of the U.S. economy. The project team will (a) catalog the range of strategies, (b) undertake a literature review and make field visits to key locations, (c) identify what program elements are implementable in the short, medium, and long term, and finally (d) develop a resource guide that will provide relevant information about key institutions and useful contacts.

Freight, both domestic and international, travels along distinct transportation corridors and traverses hubs that are continually being modified to meet shipper needs, while attempting to insure that security is maintained or enhanced. Detailed analysis of these corridors, using techniques now grouped under the general term ?logistics?, have been used by hub operators to recommend a variety of strategies to complement the traditional solution of simply adding capacity at the hub.

All modes?maritime, rail, highway, air, and river?that lie on highly utilized transportation corridors have been struggling to develop alternative growth strategies to that of simply expanding infrastructure. For many key intermodal locations, particularly deep-water ports (like New York/New Jersey) and older intermodal rail yards (like those around Chicago), new strategies have been developed to address the issues of maintaining adequate service levels. The deterioration in levels of service has a negative effect on regional economies and the U.S economy as a whole. Public policymakers have an interest in increasing efficiency and mitigating adverse social impacts such as congestion and poor air quality. Some successful intermodal projects include the Inland Port Distribution Network (New York/New Jersey), single Inland Ports (Charleston), port to rail yard corridors (Alameda Corridor in Southern California), logistics parks (Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad?s facility at Joliet, Illinois) and the development of multimodal air and rail hubs, such as the one at Alliance, Texas. All of these strategies utilize innovative funding techniques and many have multiple partners, as exemplified in the Alameda case.

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