The National Academies

NCHRP 02-20 [Completed]

Economic Trends and Multimodal Transportation Requirements

  Project Data
Funds: $249,999
Research Agency: The Louis Berger Group, Inc.
Principal Investigator: Isaac Shafran
Effective Date: 2/15/1995
Completion Date: 4/30/1998

NCHRP Report 421, Economic Trends and Multimodal Transportation Requirements contains the results of research into the economic trends affecting multimodal transportation demand; the requirements of American business in responding to those trends; and reference materials for planning practitioners on the changing transportation needs of business for use in the transportation planning process. The report should be of interest to state departments of transportation, metropolitan planning organizations, and other transportation project sponsors. It should also provide a valuable resource for transportation planners, transportation economists, and others responsible for long-range transportation planning and strategic management.

Over the past decade, the U.S. economy has sustained tremendous change in response to a changing global economy. Economic sectors have undergone significant change as have individual businesses. In supporting economic expansion goals, it is important to consider how multimodal transportation investments can sustain development in the future. This is particularly true in light of the opportunities for increasing the market reach of U.S. economic production and the competitiveness of American business in the worldwide economy. As federal transportation policy has evolved in the 1990s, under the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA) and the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), there has been a growing expectation that transportation system improvements and investments should contribute to national, regional, and local economic growth and productivity in addition to fulfilling the many other functions traditionally associated with such investments. This can be accomplished through a greater understanding and recognition of the nature of our changing economic structures and needs.

NCHRP Report 421 reflects research that resulted in guidance for use by planning practitioners and other transportation decision makers based on the relationship between current and future regional, national, and global economic trends and the freight and passenger transportation requirements of American business. The three-phased study focused on economic trends and the requirements of American business for transportation service and systems; perspectives for incorporating business transportation needs into the statewide and metropolitan planning processes; and reference material for use by planning practitioners.

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