HOUSTON – The Center for Ports & Waterways (CPW) at the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) will soon begin a study for the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) to update a comparison of freight transportation methods. The collaboration will provide an up-to-date analysis of the environmental impacts of barge transportation compared to other modes, such as highway or rail transportation. TTI, which is part of the Texas A&M University System, will focus on at least five issues: cargo capacity, air emissions, congestion, social and safety impacts and energy efficiency.
Statistics being used today are drawn from comparisons completed at least 10-15 years ago. A lot has changed since then according to the Jim Kruse, director of the CPW. “Engine standards are different, safety and security practices have changed and severe congestion in major corridors and in urban areas has become a major transportation issue.” TTI’s study will collect updated information as well as analyze the differences in the various transportation methods in today’s operating environment.
To begin the project, CPW is reaching out to the private sector in two ways: hearing suggestions of alternative ways of structuring the comparison across modes, and collecting information already available. All interested parties are invited to participate. “We don’t want to leave any stone unturned,” says Mr. Kruse. “We highly value both private and public sector input.”
Individuals who would like to offer suggestions for data sources or analytical approaches can contact Mr. Kruse at 713-686-2971 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.