Special Panel on Freight Transportation Holds First Hearing

Washington, Apr 26, 2013 -

On Wednesday, the special panel I was recently appointed to on the importance of freight transportation held its first hearing. The panel heard from witnesses representing the broad spectrum of freight transportation, from railways and aviation to highways and maritime transportation, on the state of our goods movement system and the challenges it will face in coming years.

The need for a safe and efficient system for moving goods from cargo containers to store shelves can be seen here in the Inland Empire. The 31st District is home to Colton Crossing, one of the busiest railroad crossings in the nation, hundreds of trucking firms, and numerous warehouses and distribution centers. Together, these freight pathways help bring goods to the marketplace and support thousands of jobs in goods movement, manufacturing, construction, and retail in San Bernardino County.

According to the Southern California Association of Governments, freight movement in our region is expected to triple in the next three decades. While this is positive news, this growth will significantly increase the stress on our ports, highways, and railways. Since the Inland Empire bears a disproportionate share of stress on our highways and railways, we need to ensure that the country recognizes how vitally important our region is to the national supply chain and plan our infrastructure needs accordingly.   I will continue to work with my colleagues on the panel to find effective solutions that will address the challenges facing freight transportation and goods movement and support economic growth in the Inland Empire and across the country.

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