Many of the challenges affecting the freight system, from congestion to development conflicts to community acceptance, arise in metropolitan areas. They are often hubs in the supply chain and intermodal operations. Yet, the conditions in metropolitan areas present higher costs and elevated risks to the provision of service. The lack of knowledge and experience with freight in metropolitan planning agencies has often precluded an effective response to the challenges, despite the direct economic importance of freight systems to the metropolitan areas and their sensitive positions in global supply chains. These challenges require practical solutions, some of which need to be newly developed, and all of which must be effective for the community and governing organizations, and benefit the freight system.
The objective of the research is to develop a regional public planning guide that identifies potential strategies and practical solutions for public and private stakeholders to improve freight movement system performance in diverse metropolitan areas.
Accomplishment of the project objective will require at least the following tasks.
(1). Synthesize the results of applicable NCFRP and NCHRP research that contribute to the objective and are applicable to regional metropolitan freight planning. Prepare a technical memorandum providing the results for NCFRP review.(2). Identify and summarize strategies (e.g., operations and maintenance, capital investment, policy and regulatory, funding) that have been developed to enhance efficient and effective freight movement by any mode in metropolitan areas.(3). Identify the obstacles encountered and successes achieved during the planning and implementation of the strategies identified in Task 2 and describe any unintended results, both positive and negative, that can be attributed to the strategies that were implemented. Identify possible new strategies as well as improvements and risk mitigations to the strategies identified in Task 2 and describe the applicability of goals and performance measures to the strategies. Identify the stakeholders and discuss their roles, their impact on the success of the strategies, and how they measure success. (4). Within 6 months of contract award, submit an interim report summarizing the results of Tasks 1 through 3, an outline of the guide to be developed in Task 5, a list of stakeholders to validate the guide, a plan for contractor involvement in disseminating the guide (including potential users), and a list of 40 candidate participants for the Task 9 workshop. (5). Develop a guide that identifies potential strategies and practical solutions for public and private stakeholders to improve freight movement system performance in diverse metropolitan areas and a plan for users to maintain its relevance. (6). Gather feedback on the guide from the stakeholders identified in Task 4 and by NCFRP.(7). Based on the results of Task 6, revise the guide. (8). Conduct a 1-day workshop at the National Academies Beckman Center in Irvine, California (including invited attendees and panel members) to demonstrate the applicability of the guide to the primary users. NCFRP will be responsible for all meeting and hotel logistics, travel expenses for participants, confirmation of attendance, and expenses related to meals and lodging. The contractor will be responsible for covering all other costs, such as their travel expenses, invitations, agenda, electronic presentations, and handout materials.(9). Based on the results of Task 8, revise the guide as needed, including a plan for users to maintain the relevance of the guide that includes application of sensitivity analysis (e.g., fuel cost, labor availability and cost, demographics, environmental, trade agreements, changes in supply chains), contractor involvement in disseminating the guide, and demonstrating how the guide can be adapted as conditions change. (10). Prepare a final report documenting the entire research effort and the updated guide that identifies potential strategies and practical solutions for public and private stakeholders to improve freight movement system performance in diverse metropolitan areas.