Subtitle V—Merchant Marine
Part D—Promotional Programs
Chapter 556—Short Sea Transportation
CHAPTER 556—SHORT SEA TRANSPORTATIONEdit
Sec. 55601. Short sea transportation programEdit
- (a) Establishment.— The Secretary of Transportation shall establish a short sea transportation program and designate short sea transportation projects to be conducted under the program to mitigate landside congestion.
- (b) Program Elements.— The program shall encourage the use of short sea transportation through the development and expansion of—
- (1) documented vessels;
- (2) shipper utilization;
- (3) port and landside infrastructure; and
- (4) marine transportation strategies by State and local governments.
- (c) Short Sea Transportation Routes.— The Secretary shall designate short sea transportation routes as extensions of the surface transportation system to focus public and private efforts to use the waterways to relieve landside congestion along coastal corridors. The Secretary may collect and disseminate data for the designation and delineation of short sea transportation routes.
- (d) Project Designation.— The Secretary may designate a project to be a short sea transportation project if the Secretary determines that the project may—
- (1) offer a waterborne alternative to available landside transportation services using documented vessels; and
- (2) provide transportation services for passengers or freight (or both) that may reduce congestion on landside infrastructure using documented vessels.
- (e) Elements of Program.— For a short sea transportation project designated under this section, the Secretary may—
- (1) promote the development of short sea transportation services;
- (2) coordinate, with ports, State departments of transportation, localities, other public agencies, and the private sector and on the development of landside facilities and infrastructure to support short sea transportation services; and
- (3) develop performance measures for the short sea transportation program.
- (f) Multistate, State and Regional Transportation Planning.— The Secretary, in consultation with Federal entities and State and local governments, shall develop strategies to encourage the use of short sea transportation for transportation of passengers and cargo. The Secretary shall—
- (1) assess the extent to which States and local governments include short sea transportation and other marine transportation solutions in their transportation planning;
- (2) encourage State departments of transportation to develop strategies, where appropriate, to incorporate short sea transportation, ferries, and other marine transportation solutions for regional and interstate transport of freight and passengers in their transportation planning; and
- (3) encourage groups of States and multi-State transportation entities to determine how short sea transportation can address congestion, bottlenecks, and other interstate transportation challenges.
Sec. 55602. Cargo and shippersEdit
- (a) Memorandums of Agreement.— The Secretary of Transportation shall enter into memorandums of understanding with the heads of other Federal entities to transport federally owned or generated cargo using a short sea transportation project designated under section 55601 when practical or available.
- (b) Short-Term Incentives.— The Secretary shall consult shippers and other participants in transportation logistics and develop proposals for short-term incentives to encourage the use of short sea transportation.
Sec. 55603. Interagency coordinationEdit
- The Secretary of Transportation shall establish a board to identify and seek solutions to impediments hindering effective use of short sea transportation. The board shall include representatives of the Environmental Protection Agency and other Federal, State, and local governmental entities and private sector entities.
Sec. 55604. Research on short sea transportationEdit
- The Secretary of Transportation, in consultation with the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, may conduct research on short sea transportation, regarding—
- (1) the environmental and transportation benefits to be derived from short sea transportation alternatives for other forms of transportation;
- (2) technology, vessel design, and other improvements that would reduce emissions, increase fuel economy, and lower costs of short sea transportation and increase the efficiency of intermodal transfers; and
- (3) solutions to impediments to short sea transportation projects designated under section 55601.
Sec. 55605. Short sea transportation definedEdit
- In this chapter, the term `short sea transportation' means the carriage by vessel of cargo—
- (1) that is—
- (A) contained in intermodal cargo containers and loaded by crane on the vessel; or
- (B) loaded on the vessel by means of wheeled technology; and
- (2) that is—
- (A) loaded at a port in the United States and unloaded either at another port in the United States or at a port in Canada located in the Great Lakes Saint Lawrence Seaway System; or
- (B) loaded at a port in Canada located in the Great Lakes Saint Lawrence Seaway System and unloaded at a port in the United States.
- (1) that is—