Marine Transportation System
The Marine Transportation System (MTS) includes all of America's coastal and inland waterways, more than 300 public and private ports, a network of navigable channels, pipelines, vessels, marine terminals, intermodal connections, and associated management and safety information systems. The MTS includes 25,000 miles of commercially navigable waterways, which are a critically important mode of transportation and which provide the linkage between ocean-borne transportation, highway, rail, and pipeline transportation. The waterborne cargo moving on the MTS generates more than 13 million jobs and this contributes more than $750 billion to the Nation's Gross Domestic Product.
MARAD continued its efforts to strengthen the MTS with participation in the Marine Transportation System National Advisory Council (MTSNAC). The MTSNAC advises the U.S. Secretary of Transportation on MTS issues. Its membership is comprised of leaders from 30 commercial transportation firms, trade associations, State and local public entities, marine terminal operators, labor groups, academics, and environmental groups. During FY 2005, MTSNAC completed and submitted to the Secretary its recommendations for investment in our Nation's MTS as part of a coherent, coordinated, and comprehensive intermodal transportation policy.
Through the work of its Education Subcommittee, MTSNAC developed a comprehensive report outlining the origins of the supply chain system and its contribution to the Nation's overall transportation system. This report is to be transformed into a multi-media tool to educate public policy makers in both the executive and legislative branches of the U.S.Government on the complex MTS.
MTSNAC also provided important input to the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy Report (Ocean Policy Report) to the President of the United States. Recognizing the fragmented approach to the MTS, MTSNAC recommended that DOT be designated as the lead agency for planning and oversight of the MTS, and that the former Interagency Committee for the Marine Transportation System (ICMTS) be elevated to the cabinet level and be chaired by the Department. The U.S. Secretary of Transportation convened the first meeting of the successor organization, the Committee on the Marine Transportation System (CMTS), on July 11, 2005. In September 2005, the CMTS directed its coordinating board to create a strategic plan.
At the beginning of FY 2005, a key study for MARAD and MTS efforts, The Marine Transportation System and the Federal Role: Measuring Performance, Targeting Improvement, was published. This study, published by the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies of Science, recommends that DOT produce a conditions and performance report on the MTS. MARAD has begun preliminary work for this study.
At the beginning of FY 2005, a key study for MARAD and MTS efforts, The Marine Transportation System and the Federal Role: Measuring Performance, Targeting Improvement, was published. This study, published by the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies of Science, recommends that DOT produce a conditions and performance report on the MTS. MARAD has begun preliminary work for this study. Based upon direction from that meeting the CMTS in July 2005, the CMTS Executive Secretariat recommended the creation of three Integrated Action Teams. These teams will formulate a national strategy for the MTS, perform an assessment of the MTS, and develop a plan for data collection and information management.