In December 2015, President Obama signed the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) which provides long-term surface transportation funding. One of the highlights of the FAST Act is the creation of the National Advisory Committee on Travel and Tourism Infrastructure to provide information, advice, and recommendations to the Secretary of Transportation on matters relating to the role of intermodal transportation in facilitating mobility with respect to travel and tourism activities.
The roles of the Committee will be to:
- Advise the Secretary of Transportation on current and emerging priorities, issues, projects, and funding needs related to the use of the intermodal transportation network of the United States to facilitate travel and tourism;
- Serve as a forum for discussion for travel and tourism stakeholders on transportation issues affecting interstate and interregional mobility of passengers;
- Promote the sharing of information between the private and public sectors on transportation issues impacting travel and tourism;
- Gather information, develop technical advice, and make recommendations to the Secretary on policies that improve the condition and performance of an integrated national transportation system;
- Identify critical transportation facilities and corridors that facilitate and support the interstate and interregional transportation of passengers for tourism, commercial, and recreational activities;
- Provide for development of measures of condition, safety, and performance for transportation related to travel and tourism;
- Provide for development of transportation investment, data, and planning tools to assist Federal, State, and local officials in making investment decisions relating to transportation projects that improve travel and tourism; and
- Address other issues of transportation policy and programs impacting the movement of travelers for tourism and recreational purposes, including by making legislative recommendations.
The FAST Act also requires the Secretary of Transportation, in consultation with the Committee, State departments of transportation, and other appropriate public and private transportation stakeholders, to develop a national travel and tourism infrastructure strategic plan that will:
Assess the condition and performance of our national transportation network with respect to travel and tourism;
Identify issues that create congestion and barriers to travel and tourism;
Forecast travel and tourism volume for the following 20 years;
Assess our statutes, regulations, technologies, and other barriers to improved long-haul travel performance for travelers and tourists;
Identify best practices for improving transportation performance for travelers and tourists; and
Identify strategies to improve intermodal connectivity for travelers and tourists.