Office of Planning, Environment, & Realty (HEP)
Good afternoon and good morning to those on the West and welcome to the Talking Freight seminar series. My name is Jennifer Symoun, and I will be moderating this seminar. Today's topic is America's Marine Highways. Please be advised that today's seminar is being recorded.
Before I go any further, I do want to let those of you who are calling into the teleconference for the audio know that you need to mute your computer speakers or else you will be hearing your audio over the computer as well.
Today will have two presenters, Lauren Brand of the Maritime Administration and Barbara Nelson of the Richmond Virginia MPO. Lauren Brand is the director for the Office of Marine Highway and Passenger Vessels for the Maritime Administration, part of the US Department of Transportation. In this role she is responsible for carrying out MARAD's missions to improve and strengthen the US marine transportation system to meet the economic and security needs of this nation. Prior to this, she was a South-Atlantic Gateway Director for MARAD.
Barbara Nelson is a principal transportation planner for the Richmond MPO. She has been in this position for just over five years with an additional 20 years of planning experience. Her responsibilities at the Richmond Area MPO include transportation improvement program manager, project manager for the 64 Express, and responsible for managing the following programs: intermodal, bicycles, pedestrian, and citizen outreach.
Today's seminar will last approximately 90 minutes, with 60 minutes allocated for the speakers, and the final 30 minutes for audience question and answer. If during the presentations you think of a question, you can type it into the chat area. Please make sure you send your question to "Everyone" and indicate which presenter your question is for. Presenters will be unable to answer your questions during their presentations, but I will start off the question and answer session with the questions typed into the chat box. Once we get through all of the questions that have been typed in, the Operator will give you instructions on how to ask a question over the phone. If you think of a question after the seminar, you can send it to the presenters directly, or I encourage you to use the Freight Planning LISTSERV. If you have not already joined the LISTSERV, the web address at which you can register is provided on the slide on your screen.
Finally, I would like to remind you that this session is being recorded. A file containing the audio and the visual portion of this seminar will be posted to the Talking Freight Web site within the next few weeks. We encourage you to direct others in your office that may have not been able to attend this seminar to access the recorded seminar.
The PowerPoint presentations used during the seminar are available for download from the file download box in the lower right corner of your screen. The presentations will also be available online within the next week or so. I will notify all attendees of the availability of the PowerPoints, the recording, and a transcript of this seminar.
One final note: Talking Freight seminars are eligible for 1.5 certification maintenance credits for AICP members. In order to obtain credit for today's seminar, you must have logged in with your first and last name or if you are attending with a group of people you must type your first and last name into the chat box. I have included more detailed instructions in the file share box on how to obtain your credits after the seminar. Please note that today's seminar is not yet available on the AICP web site. I will send out an email to everyone who registered once it is available for credits. Please also download the evaluation form from the file share box and submit this form to me after you have filled it out.
We'll now get started. Today's topic is America's Marine Highways for anyone who just joined us. Our first presenter is Lauren Brand of the Maritime Administration. As a reminder, if you have a question during the presentation please type it into the chat box and it will be answered after the presentation. With that I am going to bring up Lauren's presentation.
Thank you Jennifer. I want to thank you for inviting us today and having the topic of America's Marine Highway. There has been a lot happening, and looking at the names I see people I recognize, I see friends for the program and for those of you who have seen parts of the presentation before I apologize, but I guarantee there is new information here today. We are going to split this into part A and part B and we will have a Barbara Nelson in the middle. This program is pretty new and was just established in 2007 by the Energy Independence and Security Act and there has been a whole bunch of legal things that had to happen. This slide shows an overview of what has been going on. Probably the most important document that you may want to access is the Final Rule that was published in the Federal Register on April 9, 2010. This document, in addition to defining the program and defining projects, explains how to apply for a project and how to apply for a corridor. Corridor applications are still open and being welcomed. As for project applications, we will have another call for them later this summer and the criteria will be very similar to what is in the Final Rule. At the end of today's presentation will be my contact info so if you have trouble finding it or you just want me to send it to you, send me an e-mail and I can send an electronic copy of the Rule back to you.
What are we talking about? What is so exciting that happened in 2007? Congress passed legislation making the waterways part of the surface transportation system. This really isn't a new concept. The nation moved items by water tremendously before the highway system was developed, but in the 70s water use started to decline as we used the road and road network a lot more. Now, the third intermodal option is coming back. We are bringing it back, putting it into action, and have a third option to work with.
This is a map that was on the MARAD web site as of July 2010. At the time it was entitled America's Marine Highway and basically it was a map of the waterway systems in the United States. They say flattery is a real compliment, so please Federal Highway, take this as a compliment: we stole your idea of strategic corridors and put out a request for strategic marine corridors. We received quite a few applications, over 96 recommendations. A lot were duplicates and some are just partial waterways so we put them together. In August 2010 the Secretary of Transportation designated these areas as America's Marine Highway Corridors. So the corridors are mostly coastal, Great Lakes, St. Lawrence Seaway, and some of the major inland waterways. These are all navigable waterways. These waterway corridors are parallel to congested highway and some rail corridors. In September of 2010, the Secretary of Transportation designated eight Marine Highway Projects. On this slide, that is where the big P's are located. You can see that they are all clustered east of the Mississippi and in the Northeast of the United States. We received 35 applications for projects and an interagency committee reviewed all of them and ranked them against the criteria and nominated these eight and the Secretary agreed and designated them. The interagency team consisted of highway, rail, transit, of course Maritime administration, and OST. We had environmental, economic, and policy people on the team as well. So the applications were very thoroughly analyzed.
In red are where the three grants are located. Last year we had $7 million in grant funds awarded to the program; I should say we were allowed to distribute the funds and only a three grants were awarded to designated projects. The grants went to the M64 in Virginia, which Barbara Nelson is going to be talking about today. They're going to be expanding their service existing service. The Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway is the line that goes north and south and that is a brand-new service that will be between Mobile, Alabama and Itawamba, Mississippi. In the Gulf of Mexico, a grant was awarded to a service between Brownsville, Texas and Manatee, Florida.
We also awarded funds for three studies to look at three main waterways. That is along the East Coast on M95, the West Coast on M5 and then M55 is the Mississippi River. We received project applications on those waterways but those projects were not fully developed to the point where they actually ready to start or expand a service, but they had some good ideas and suggestions. They may have been missing one element that we needed to confirm the project, such as a market study or maybe they did not have their operating costs put together. These cooperative agreements will be working on these three main waterways with the corridor sponsors and the designated initiative sponsors to identify those missing links from their application and then see what we can do to bring services together on these three main waterways.
In November 2010 we took a snapshot of existing marine highway services in the United States. You may look at the Mississippi River and ask why does it look like a corridor with no service on it? The marine highway program focuses on containerized and trailerized freight and the movement of passengers. Right now on the Mississippi River it is predominately bulk and some break-bulk, but there is no regularly scheduled container, trailerized, or passenger service on the Mississippi. We actually don't count cruising as passenger service. You can see the dark lines and where they are and keep these in your mind. Look at the dark blue lines and look at how many more there are. Based on the applications we received for projects, based on the people that have come to visit since November 2010, based on the presentations we made, we believe within five years we can have active regular schedule services in all of these areas around the country. We are working to make it happen.
We had the funding last year and we are moving forward with those programs that receive funding but we're working on other things as well that are not funding related. We call those our other resources. That Final Rule of 2010 gave us authorization to take 10 nonmonetary related supported actions that we could do to help the program grow in the country. These are some of the agencies and actions that we are looking at. We are working with Federal Highway on a discretionary grant program and the Detroit-Windsor Marine Highway project received a grant. We are working with the 64-Express which now has a marine highway grant. We're working with some grant programs from TIGER where they are getting infrastructure funds and I will talk more about that a little bit.
We are reaching out for some planning grants opportunities for some folks. There is a Potomac Ferry project that is being proposed and we have been helping to steer them to some different ideas to look for assistance and to get their project moving forward. We're working with the Department of Defense, and I will talk more about that in a different slide. We have identified some areas in FEMA that could help support marine highway initiatives and projects. There are port security grants have been given out for about nine years and if the program is continued it is possible that they could provide some funding for security equipment or infrastructure to new marine services as well. For hazardous materials movement we are looking at the logistics plans of certain hazardous materials that move through congested metropolitan areas that could possibly be routed for part of their trip on a marine been highway. We are just exploring that possibility right now.
How does this really work? And this is where we to turn it over to Barbara Nelson to tell you what is going on.
Okay Barbara, we are going to turn it over to you now.
Thank you Jennifer. I would like to take about 15 minutes and share information about the 64 Express. This project went from concept in October of 2007 when the economy was strong to a launch in December 2008 when the economy was declining. It was a really tough time to introduce a new initiative but the good news is that although those tough economic times were endured, the demand for the service continues to grow and we are positioning the service for expansion. My planning background is varied and extensive for over 25 years, my experience in the ports and goods movement transport arena was really limited before working on the 64 Express. If there is anybody on the webcast who is not the familiar with the great work that is being done by the I-95 Corridor Coalition and the work they have done with MARAD over the past few years to advance the initiative, please know they are an excellent resource and you should check them out. My participation in Corridor Coalition's Freight Academy in 2008 continues to be a solid foundation on which I have been building my knowledge and understanding of intermodal connections.
Jumping into the 64 Express, you can see on the screen we have a picture of our barge as well as a map showing the distance from the Hampton Roads area of Virginia up the James River to Richmond. The Port Richmond is about 100 nautical miles from Hampton Roads, and it is nearly the same by highway. It connects Richmond with Virginia's International Gateway; the ports of Virginia and Hampton Roads. Our current service is weekly. We have throughout the past two years run more regularly than once a week as demand for the service dictated however it is at a minimum a weekly call service. We anticipate expanding the service to two or three or potentially more times per week as well as introducing an inter-terminal barge service between the terminals in the Hampton Roads. Door service is available as the service has a strong relationship with the trucking industry and we do consider this to be the service to be transit for cargo. It is an alternative to individual truck trips. The Interstate 64 Corridor was designated as a marine highway. Funds have been used to purchase two barges. The existing one is currently in service and the second barge is for service expansion. We will be using the purchase of the barges or the purpose acquiring the barges is to capitalize current operational cost and reducing the cost per box. As cargo moves on the 64 Express as international cargo, I think it is important for everybody to have an understanding of our relationship with VPA and Virginia's gateway to the global market.
I want to move quickly through the next few slides and focus on our project. The all-water route from Asia to the Port of Virginia, whether you go by a way of the Panama Canal or the Suez Canal is nearly equal, it is just over 6% increase in distance by choosing one route over the other. The Port of Virginia is well-positioned to the markets of South America and Western Europe. The Port of Virginia, as I mentioned earlier, we consider to be Virginia's International Gateway. There are currently four existing marine terminals in Hampton Roads: Newport News, Portsmouth Marine Terminal, Norfolk International Terminal, and the APM terminal. The APM terminal was acquired through a long-term lease agreement in July of 2010. The current channel depth in the Hampton Roads area is 50 feet. The Port of Virginia is within a day's drive of nearly two thirds of the US population. The mode split for cargoes is currently about 66 percent by truck, thirty percent by rail, and four percent by barge. We are anticipating increasing the rail and barge numbers.
As you can see perhaps by comparison in the two slides, this is a tale of two ports. The multiple marine terminals in Hampton Roads and their inland rail port in Front Royal making up a large mix of terminals within the Virginia Port Authority system. Compared to the Port of Richmond, again 100 miles inland and about 120 acres located just below the fall line of the James River and our draft is 22 feet. Dredging and maintenance issues along the James River do make barging an ideal opportunity.
With those slides as background I would like to explain the dynamics of why this project has and will continue to be supported by region. We have had many excellent partners including MARAD, Federal Highway in the two key partners for this project would not be a success without is Jeff Keever with the Virginia Port Authority and Ed Whitmore of Norfolk Tug. To date, the Richmond Area MPO has allocated nearly $4 million over three years and we anticipate continuing our investment in regional planning resources. Over the coming year, we will also be developing a port opportunity study where will concentrate our infrastructure development investment. There are three key reasons why the region supported and continues to support the barge service from Hampton Roads up to Richmond and one is transportation system performance. The transportation system and I64 corridor is highly congested and there've been several studies anticipating the expansion of the corridor, all of which have significant price tags. We see the barge alternative as an opportunity mitigate congestion and system capacity constraints associated with an increased demand for import and export.
There is also a system maintenance issue. In Virginia nearly $200 million in damage is done annually to the road network associated with overweight cargo and when we evaluate that against the permit fees charged by or the fees received to offset those overweight cargo impacts, there is a significant delta. We believe that by allowing cargoes to move on water where you can load the barge heavy and it won't compromise the system, it will have a significant impact on reducing maintenance costs over time. We also see economic opportunity within our region for warehouse distribution and related industries as well as environmental benefits. The nitrogen-oxides and other volatile organic compounds join together forming ozone. The barge, hands down, beats any other congestion mitigation project that we have considered and supported in the past.
This particular slide shows a selected distribution facility is using the Port of Virginia. The significance of this slide to the current and program expansion of the 64 Express is tied to the import and export balance enjoyed by Virginia's diverse economy. If you drop a box in Richmond, it can be loaded on the barge to go down the river to Hampton Roads while you're there you pick up your empty and return. You are reducing the total VMT in the I64 corridor as well as reducing wear and tear and the fuel savings is approximately 65 to 70 gallons per round trip between Richmond and Hampton Road. In this past General Assembly session, legislation was approved by our General Assembly which grants an income tax credit for usage of the barge and rail, cargo that move through Virginia on the barge or rail rather than by truck or other motor vehicle. It is a $50 credit per TEU which begins with the taxable year beginning January 2011 and we see this as a significant commitment on part of the Commonwealth of Virginia to support the barge and the opportunity and the alternative of barging as a component of the surface transportation, the surface transportation system. The map that is up, you can see the opportunity for many distribution facilities around Virginia that can drop a box in Richmond and can be loaded on the barge and downriver it goes. The same goes for the box coming up the river. We think this really does present an exciting opportunity and we are very grateful that the General. Assembly has made this commitment.
In conclusion, I put the contact information for the project partners without whom this project would not be possible and it certainly wouldn't be enjoying the success is that it has today. We are currently moving over 160 containers a week from the 64 Corridor and anticipate within several months to be moving as many as 300 containers per week. I'll be glad to answer the questions as we move to the presentation.
Thank you Barb. We are now going to go back to Lauren Brand to wrap up with a final presentation.
So what else is the program doing in addition to supporting and helping to develop new services and expand existing services? We are doing some other things to try to round out the program and expand the impact of the program. We are working with the Navy with their Operations and Logistics Office on a dual use vessel study. Right now, the Navy is looking at ways to maximize the use of their assets and they are focusing on a future vessel that would have a commercial application, and then in times of emergency or conflict a certain percentage of those commercial vessels could be put into service for the military and then later returned a commercial service. There are ways to make it work; we are looking at policy and practice and we're looking at vessel requirements. So the Maritime Administration is doing a study right now in the commercial vessel portion and the Navy is doing a study parallel to their military needs in the sizes and the facilities they would go to and the infrastructure that is available and then we will be marrying the results of the two studies.
We are the lead agency on an interagency cooperative effort to do a supplemental Missouri River study and we are working with the Department of Energy, Commerce, and Agriculture to look at how to maximize the benefits of the Missouri River for navigation. This is a $2 million study and our first inter-agency meeting is actually the last Monday of this month. We are pretty excited to get the commitments from the other departments. The report should be issued in 2012. We will be working very closely with the Missouri DOT and other stakeholders on the river as well.
We were involved in the TIGER Grants. Two TIGER grants in 2009 received infrastructure funds to help with the purchase of vessels and landside equipment such as cranes in TIGER I. From TIGER II Port Manatee will receive a grant to build a terminal and extend a bit of a berth in Florida. So, TIGER funds are being used for infrastructure development related to supporting marine highways. That was exciting, seeing Marine Highways involved in a bigger program like TIGER.
The Maritime Administration has 10 regional offices and if you're not aware of it, here is a map of where they are located. A lot of times we get so many requests to headquarters for information, we think it is important for a person to get some human touch and we can't always be flying around the country so we are working closely with our regional offices. They're reaching out having meetings in gathering information and working with people, and helping them to apply for projects and develop projects.
There is an organization called the Marine Highway Cooperative and they are developing an online benefits calculator that will come out next month. It is a planning tool and it is going to measure items such as carbon, fuel savings, noise reduction, and other air emissions. . It is really good; the consultant that is putting it together for the Cooperative is AECOM and it is their European arm based in the UK Office. This is based on a lot of short-sea shipping based in the EU. So we're pretty excited about this coming out and it will be available at no charge and it should be pretty well advertised when it comes out. If you're interested in this as a planning tool you would like to see how adding a maritime component to intermodal planning could impact your public benefit, give us a shout and we'll give you the link to once it is available.
There is a Marine Highway Advisory Board which was established by the Secretary. That is going to be a subcommittee of the Marine Transportation Board. It is being established right now. We had about 125 people apply to be on the Board and that was pretty exciting. The applicants were comprised of shippers, carriers, as well as Port Authority people, State DOT representatives, and the committee that is being recommended will have members on it representing all different aspects. The committee's purpose is to identify and seek solutions to things that hinder the use of the growth of short sea transportation.
There is also a North American Short Sea Steering Committee and that was established in 2003. The members are: the Maritime Administration, Transport Canada, and Mexico's Secretary of Communications and Transport. This group's goal to help grow short sea transportation services between the three nations. This January we met in Washington and we came up with a five-year plan. One of the big items in our plan is to identify congested border crossings and help develop short sea services which could supplement those border crossings.
What else are we doing? This year we are working to advance designated projects, supporting designated initiatives, and trying to help them fill in the blanks so they could apply for project status when it comes around the summer. We are accepting corridor applications all the time, and we got one so far this year and we have gotten two calls that there are two others the people are proposing. We're expecting the dual use vessel report to be come out this year. In the next year we will be designating new projects, and will be completing the supplemental Missouri River Study. Unfortunately there is no grant funds authorized for fiscal year 2011 or 2012 at this time.
We are constantly doing outreach; here is a list of some of the larger meetings that we are going to and what we are organizing. Not on this list are roundtables and we are working with a number of communities to put together roundtables. That would be where your local community stakeholders who could influence the development, creation, or expansion of a marine highway service would sit in the same room and talk about the opportunities for your region in what regions you connect with, what do you need to get a service started or expanded. Whether it is freight or passenger, we are happy to talk about either or both at the table for these roundtables. We are inviting State DOTs, MPOs, terminal operators, carriers which would include trucks and rail, shippers are invited, the economic development commission, and Chambers of Commerce. Anyone who could influence the process or the region are sitting down together and talking.
We have held two of these so far and there have been action items that have resulted from both. We have some on the plans now and two more that we are eyeballing. If you are interested in something like this, give us a call. This is just a partial list of some of the people that we've been talking to and I prepared the slide in November so there is more that I could add to it now, but the font would get so tiny you could not read anything. Our goal is to make maritime a routine of an intermodal freight mode and a routine part of transportation planning. We are challenging you on what you can do to help make this a routine item. Here is our contact information. We have a website that needs to updated, and we are working on that now. There is my contact info as well and I am very responsive to e-mail if you want to send me an e-mail.
Thank you. We will move onto the Question and Answer session now and go to the folks online and then we will probably have time to open the phone lines as well. I think most of the questions I see are for Lauren, but everybody please continue typing your questions. Is it anticipated that the Marine Highway Program will be funded at a level of, or even the same manner as, the Federal Highway Program?
That is a real dream. No it is not anticipated, it is a hope. I am speechless; I do not know what to say. I wish that would happen as there is so much which can be done with it. All we have for funding so far was the $7 million grant in fiscal 2010 and as I said before there is nothing else on the books at this time.
They are eligible for CMAQ funding and if there are other infrastructure grant programs coming on the future like TIGER, they are eligible as well. There are EPA grants that we found to help with engines, overhaul and replacement, so we are trying to search all the federal programs to see what our program applies for and help projects to apply for those programs. We have even found some Economic Development Grants for infrastructure. So we are trying to pass those words out, but the specific Marine Highway Program does not have funding at this time.
One of the three projects that received a grant award has gone out of business, the M-10. What will happen to those funds?
There is a misconception about that. None of the grants were awarded to private companies. All of the Marine Highway grants went to public entities. In this last year, they all went to Port Authorities. The Marine Highway Grants in the Gulf went to the Port Authorities of Brownsville, Texas and Manatee, Florida. Those ports came to us as soon as they found out the service was going to terminate. Unfortunately - this was not anything private and was in the media - the company was undercapitalized and they couldn't keep going. The two ports came to us and presented us with a plan for moving forward and we're giving them some time to adopt a plan and I believe an RFP will be going out to attract a new service and we know for a fact that they have been contacted by ten different qualifying carriers. So we're looking forward to them coming forward. They have a timeframe to meet to get a new service in place and to meet the spirit of the grant which is to expand the service so they have to expand what was there before and they just can't start anew to get funds. If the funds are not met, if the criteria is not met those funds go back to the General Treasury.
Do you have estimates on how many passengers could be added in the next few years?
No I don't. Unfortunately the majority of questions we get is on the freight side and there are actually four passenger projects around the country that I can think of and they range from moving less than 100 people at time to over 300 people at a time with multiple service of the day. We haven't even tried to calculate those numbers.
Is there a 'high speed' ferry or ship that could take the place or add another option to high speed rail?
Yes there is, but it would have to be in the right region of the company and they would have to have the right passenger count in order to cover the operating costs.
Has the Houston Gateway office been staffed?
No it has not. I understand that the job will be posted on https://www.usajobs.gov/ in the near future.
The next question just says: new project designation call for 2010?
Yes, there will be a new project designation "call for project applications". We don't have a date yet, but it will be in the summer and it will be posted in the Federal Register.
Could you talk more about the Upper Missouri Gateway? Can you see a more active role for states such as Wyoming?
The gentleman who was the director passed away just before Christmas and that job will be posted on http://www.usajobs.com in the near future. Wyoming has not been on my radar screen but now I am going to go back to my office and look at it. If you have ideas, please send me an e-mail to Lauren.Brand@dot.gov and let's talk about it.
Can you expand on the Missouri River Study?
I see this question is from Hanson Professional Services which is providing the support to the Missouri DOT for the inventorying of their assets on the water and for some other things, and we already have a connection with your firm and we have noted as them as technical subject matter experts. . So the study will have an RFP and I don't want to give you any other information at this time because it will give you an unfair advantage in answering this RFP.
This is just, I think, a comment. EPA's clean diesel grant program, most of which is competed on a regional basis and can underwrite cost of engine replacement, repower, retrofit, etc. The link can be seen in the chat (http://www.epa.gov/cleandiesel/grantfund.htm).
You made reference to three meetings: East, West and Inland. You said that two had already been held. Could you provide a link to meeting announcements or notes?
I apologize if I gave some misinformation. The three workshops have not been held, they are being planned and organized at this time and we will announce when they are taking place. The two meetings that have already been held are roundtables. One was held over a year ago in Charleston and I'm trying to think of where the other one was (Jacksonville, FL) but there is one being planned right now for Brownsville, Texas and we're talking about doing one in Detroit. So there are two different animals. We will try to put those on the web site, but we are having trouble updating our web site in a timely basis. We will get that out to Carol and try to get it distributed.
Could you talk more about the proposed border area short sea shipping projects?
Can you type a little more on what you are looking for? I could talk an hour on that.
We can go back to this question, and will open the phone lines shortly as well. Now, we will go back to the question about the Missouri River study.
No, this is not a continuation of the Hanson study. The Hanson study was for the State and this one is a Federal Study for Congress.
If the operator can give instructions on how to ask questions over the phone, we will see if anyone has any questions over the phone line.
If you'd like to ask a question please press star one on the telephone keypad. We will pause for just a moment. There are no questions on the line.
Okay we will wait a few minutes as we have a few people typing. Here's another question. For the benefits calculator, have you asked your contractor or consultant to work with EPA's Office of Transportation & Air Quality?
No, we have gotten data from them, but we are not working directly with them.
Here is a clarification to a previous question about short sea shipping program. What specific crossings, what is the available waterside infrastructure, and would this be mainly containerized cargo? Any introduction you can provide.
What we are looking for are congested border crossing that could be supplemented with short sea services. We are looking at the Gulf of Mexico specifically the Texas-Mexico border. Perhaps it is something that might go through Veracruz or Tuxpan to any of the US ports in the Gulf. We are looking at the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway. The Ambassador Bridge is the most congested border crossing between the US and Canada and there is a hazmat truck service that operates but there is not a passenger service. So we're looking to develop a passenger ferry and as I said before that is one that has received a discretionary grant program from Federal Highway. They have identified some customers that live in Canada like 6,000 passengers that live in Canada and actually work on the US side. These people commute back and forth every single day and we could take that many cars off the road. While we are addressing with short sea projects, we're talking to Transport Canada and saying let's make sure that the infrastructure on both sides of the border are capable of handling the flow, the new traffic patterns that would result from this. So if you have 6,000 passengers you want to make sure they are not going through a two road residential area to park their cars to get to the waterfront. You want to make sure that everything is adequate and that the road leads to a parking lot which is adequate in the proper part of the city which next to the port that has the facility.
We are also looking at San Diego and Southern California and the border crossing with Mexico. I cannot remember the name of the port there, but it is the northern most port (Ensenada). We have met with a committee in San Diego and we will be working with the Government of Mexico to get the two parties together to see if there's some interest in developing a service there. So those are the types of things we're looking at.
Do you anticipate that the short sea services will be self-sustaining financially?
They have to be in the long run. If the market cannot support them then they just won't continue. It works in a lot of parts of the world, we believe that it is going to need some assistance in terms of funding and other non-funding support to get pilot projects off because you are changing the trade patterns but the market really has to show that this will be self-sustaining in the long run. And some people in the room have heard me say this before. My dad was one of the first truckers to put a truck on rail car. Back when he did that, when I was a kid, it was pretty unique and he was laughed at for doing it. Now that is a normal way to ship things so I really don't see where we cannot make this work. If we look at the public benefit provided by including Marine Highway as an option for service transportation and including it intermodal planning where make sense, it will become sustainable.
What is the status of the California Marine Highway TIGER project?
That is really exciting. They are putting out the bid for the cranes and they are developing a bid package for their barge. They are really moving forward with it. We're really excited about that one. For those who are not familiar with this, it is where three ports which used to compete with each other got together and said they are in one region and this is what we do and if we work together we could start a service between the ports of Stockton, Oakland, and West Sacramento. They identified the freight that is moving in the region and the public benefits of adding a marine highway service. They are working together now instead of against each other.
What role do you see for the MPOs along the various coasts?
I've really got a lot of education from Barb and some of the other MPOs which started working with us last year. First we are asking if you are doing freight and passenger transportation planning on an intermodal basis. We are asking if you are looking at your region as a system, which the majority of the MPOs are doing, and if they do not buy into this process it won't work. Without that system planning for the region, the connections cannot be made for the intermodal service. So to me, you have one of the key roles; you have a seat at every table for every meeting which I attend in a region.
And Barb, we will put this question out to you as well if you want to expand and talk about your role.
In Virginia, our MPO in Richmond is working closely with the Hampton Roads TPO as well as a MPO to the north looking at the freight flows within our micro-region. We all know that freight moves at a much larger scale than our MPO regions, but we are looking closely at the dynamics of the movement of freight within and between our various MPOs. We are looking at making sure we program the transportation improvement in a timely manner to meet the needs to support freight movement in Virginia and we try to coordinate with our State DOT. I think they are doing a good job of reaching out to the MPOs and trying to encourage more MPO engagement in the freight movement area. I think at the MPO level, that is where the implementation perhaps of some of these programs will occur. You can have great vision, but the actual implementation where it is going to take place on the ground is going to perhaps be at the MPO level and coordination between MPOs will be very important in the future.
Could you get us a copy of the income tax credit legislation so we could take a look at it? I am curious to see how that gets applied and how the shippers receive it, how they apply for it, and how they document that the goods moved by water.
I will. I will be glad send the information to you Tony as well as to Jennifer so it can be embedded in the links for the webcast.
I do not see any other questions typed in for the moment. I think we will close out for the day. I want to thank you to both Lauren and Barb for your great presentation today. As I mentioned before the recording of today's event will be available online for the next few and I will send out an e-mail once it is available.
As a reminder, if you are an AICP member and would like to receive 1.5 Certification Maintenance credits for attending this seminar, please make sure you were signed in today with your first and last name or type your first and last name into the chat box if you are attending with a group of people. I will send out an email once this seminar is posted to the AICP web site. Please download the evaluation form and email it to me after you have completed it. Please also download the CM Credit instructions if you are unsure of how to obtain your credits for today's seminar.
The next seminar will be held on April 20 and will be about the scan on national and international freight corridor programs. This seminar is currently is not currently available for registration, but it should be within the next few days.
If you haven't done so already, I encourage you to visit the Talking Freight Web Site and sign up for this seminar. The address is up on the slide on your screen. I also encourage you to join the Freight Planning LISTSERV if you have not already done so. Enjoy the rest of your day!