Mineta praises PierPass, encourages maritime infrastructure funding
U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta praised Southern California ports and terminal operators for their implementation of PierPass, the night truck gates plan designed to make the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach more efficient.
“I commend both port authorities for working so hard to reduce the bottlenecks that threaten our economies,” said Mineta at a Friday luncheon speech in San Pedro, Calif., hosted by the International Association of Ports and Harbors. “In particular, the implementation of PierPass, an innovative approach to reducing congestion through pricing, has had a beneficial impact on the port and surrounding communities.”
While PierPass has proved successful to this point, in terms of the amount of cargo being moved during night shifts, neighborhoods that border key highways out of the ports are unhappy that truck traffic is increasing at night.
More than 30 percent of containers eligible to be moved at night are doing so under the plan, which charges an $80 fee per 40-foot container on boxes moved during daytime weekday hours.
Mineta also said that federal transportation funds are now eligible to be appropriated directly to maritime projects.
“On the financing front, (the federal transportation bill) expands project eligibility for a loan program called TIFIA, or Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act,” Mineta said. “Large intermodal investments, including those made by the private sector, are now eligible for federal credit on favorable borrowing terms. These changes are critical, because public-private partnerships can be an important solution to port congestion. In addition, transportation improvements made inside seaports are now eligible for credit assistance.”