The FAST Act includes a number of provisions focused on ensuring the safe, efficient, and reliable movement of freight.
Specifically, the FAST Act:
- Establishes a National Multimodal Freight Policy that includes national goals to guide decision-making.
- Requires the Development of a National Freight Strategic Plan to implement the goals of the new National Multimodal Freight Policy. The National Freight Strategic Plan will address the conditions and performance of the multimodal freight system, identify strategies and best practices to improve intermodal connectivity and performance of the national freight system, and mitigate the impacts of freight movement on communities.
- Creates a new discretionary freight-focused grant program that will invest $4.5 billion over 5 years. This new program allows States, Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), local governments, tribal governments, special purpose districts and public authorities (including port authorities), and other parties to apply for funding to complete projects that improve safety and hold the greatest promise to eliminate freight bottlenecks and improve critical freight movements.
- Establishes a National Highway Freight Program. The Act provides $6.3 billion in formula funds over five years for States to invest in freight projects on the National Highway Freight Network. Up to 10 percent of these funds may be used for intermodal projects.
- Includes new authorities and requirements to improve project delivery and facilitate innovative finance. The FAST Act includes provisions intended to reduce the time it takes to break ground on new freight transportation projects, including by promoting best contracting practices and innovating financing and funding opportunities and by reducing uncertainty and delays with respect to environmental reviews and permitting.
- Collects performance measures for leading U.S. maritime ports. The FAST Act requires the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) to collect and annually report performance measures for the nation’s top 25 ports, as measured by three methods (total tonnage, containers, and dry bulk tonnage).