Caltrans unveils Freight Mobility Plan

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California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) officials said its California Freight Mobility Plan 2020, unveiled on Monday, would enhance efforts to move goods throughout the state more efficiently, safely and sustainably.

“The COVID-19 health crisis has increased our understanding of how important the freight industry is to our health and economic well-being,” Toks Omishakin, Caltrans director, said. “This plan will inform our decisions and help grow our economy through increased competition, efficiency and sustainability of our freight system.”

The plan’s scope addresses immediate and long-term policies, strategies and investments necessary to support the goods transporting network via truck, train, ship, airplane, automobile, bicycle, foot or robot.

Additionally, officials said the effort incorporates such emerging technologies as e-commerce, 3-D printing and autonomous vehicles possessing the ability to change how industries interact with freight networks, noting the plan also highlights ways to lessen the freight system’s negative environmental impacts.

Caltrans said the plan’s seven overarching goals include:

Economic prosperity: Grow the economic competitiveness of California’s freight sector through increased system efficiency, productivity, and workforce preparation.

Environmental stewardship: Avoid, reduce, and/or mitigate adverse environmental impacts of the freight transportation system while promoting ecological restoration in the planning process.

Healthy communities: Enhance community health and well-being by mitigating the negative impacts of the freight system.

Safety and resiliency: Reduce freight-related deaths/injuries and improve system resilience by addressing infrastructure vulnerabilities associated with security threats, expected climate change impacts, and natural disasters.

Asset management: Maintain and preserve freight-related infrastructure.

Connectivity and accessibility: Provide transportation choices and improve system connectivity for all freight modes.

Multimodal mobility: Maintain, enhance, and modernize the multimodal freight transportation system by improving network efficiency and travel time reliability, and reducing congestion.