Tolling, Finance Innovation Vital For Infrastructure Growth

Implemented regionally, tolling and congestion pricing will be the key that unlocks the door to more efficient use of major highways in Puget Sound. Incentives for more telecommuting, carpooling, vanpooling and off-peak travel will grow substantially, as tolls and especially time-variable congestion pricing are instituted over the next few years. Tolling coupled with investment by public employee and labor union pension funds will also help close funding gaps on major road, bridge and transit projects needed to accomodate economic growth and environmental protection. Despite some political resistance, this paradigm will transform transportation infrastructure development across North America in coming years and decades. Let’s once again take a partial and recent survey of the landscape, starting with Puget Sound. Just last Read More ›

Cargo Traffic, Private Investment Growing At U.S. Ports

Forecasts predict a veritable tsunami of maritime cargo swamping U.S. port facilities in the years ahead. In the past 5 years container trade in North America has increased by 6.8%. It’s projected to soar by 50% by 2015, from 48 million TEUs in 2005 to 72 million in 2015. (TEU stands for “twenty-foot equivalent unit,” a standard measure of container capacity). By 2020 North American ports and their associated intermodal systems will be severely congested, with demand exceeding current capacity by as much as 200% assuming current productivity and growth levels, predicts John Vickerman, an industry expert in planning and design of port, intermodal and freight logistics facilities. How should U.S. ports respond to this challenge? Some observers suggest that Read More ›