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Measuring Improvements in the Movement of Highway and Intermodal Freight

State and Local Efforts

REPORT: Regional Freight Mobility Action Packages

SPONSORS: Regional Freight Mobility Roundtable, Puget Sound Regional Council

AUTHORS: Harvey Consultants, Inc., Transmode Consultants, Inc., Ellen Kret Porter

PARTICIPANTS: Regional Freight Mobility Roundtable includes shippers, carriers, and third-party interests in the Puget Sound region.  The Roundtable is concerned with freight movement by highway, rail, ship, and air.  The Puget Sound Regional Council is the MPO for the Seattle area.

DATE: September 6, 1994

SUMMARY:

The purpose of the report and an ensuing meeting of the Regional Freight Mobility Roundtable was to develop a package of freight actions for inclusion in the Metropolitan Transportation Plan prepared by the MPO (Puget Sound Regional Council).  The plan includes highway improvements but does not have an exclusive highway focus.  The performance measures were developed as a by-product of the package of freight actions.  Performance measures were not the focus of the effort.

PERFORMANCE MEASURES PRESENTED:

1.

Transit time (and order-cycle time)

2.

Transportation and logistics costs

3.

Schedule reliability

4.

Safety

ASSESSMENT:

Transit time is straightforward, especially if read as transit time for highway-freight movements.  Transportation costs and reliability are also important, but more specificity would have been useful.  The fourth measure, safety, is less a measure than a goal.  Something like number of truck crashes might be more useful.  The report, however, appears to be concerned with overall transportation safety in this case, not reduction of accidents linked to freight movements.

It should be noted that a later report, the 1998 Progress Report of the Puget Sound Regional Council, a follow-up to the 1995 Metropolitan Transportation Plan, made no reference to these performance measures.  There is a reference to a requirement for good data, but the context is not clear.

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