The Norman Y. Mineta International Institute for Surface Transportation Policy Studies (IISTPS) at San José State University conducted this study to review the issues and implications involved in the investment of public funds in private freight infrastructure. After thorough legal research, the project team reached the following conclusions: LEGAL ANALYSIS: The California legislature has the legal power to invest public funds in privately-owned freight infrastructure projects State Highway funds, excepting gas tax revenues, may be used for investment in freight infrastructure projects. Gas tax revenues are restricted to highway use by current interpretations of the California Constitution. A challenge to this interpretation is not recommended. Gas tax revenues may be invested in roadway segments of freight infrastructure projects. RECOMMENDATIONS An analytical system of guidelines should be developed to score and evaluate any proposed freight infrastructure project. Economic development must be included in these scoring guidelines. Public agencies should maintain political contacts in order to control the political short-circuits of the planning process. The California Department of Transportation should develop a Freight Improvement Priority System for the purpose of prioritizing all freight improvement projects.

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Planning and Policy


Freight transportation, legislation, Transportation policy, Investment, public policy