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Freight economy among California’s long-term planning priorities

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Improving freight transportation to support the boom is one of the priorities listed in the California Department of Transportation’s long-term transportation plans.

The agency’s California Transport Plan 2050 establishes a policy framework for the future of transport systems with the goal of improving mobility and reducing greenhouse gas emissions over the next 30 years.

“California’s transportation system connects 40 million people to work, housing, critical services and recreation,” said Toks Omishakin, director of Caltrans. “This plan sets a bold vision to promote economic vitality, protect the environment and meet the transportation needs of all Californians.”

The plan cites expanding economic opportunities through efficient movement of cargo, services, and personnel as a key goal over the coming decades. Another purpose is to increase the safety of bridges and roads on which trucks and passenger cars travel. The plan states that truck parking availability, on-the-go weighing stations, and alternative refueling locations are important for a sound cargo infrastructure system. In California, trucks are the primary means of freight, transporting 3.8 million tonnes per day.


In the short term, promoting economic growth and expanding transportation services are aimed at helping the state recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The plan states that the outbreak of COVID-19 in early 2020 brought California’s unemployment rate to 25%.

Reducing the environmental impact of the transportation sector is another priority pointed out in the plan. Caltrans aims to reduce transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions by 80% from 1990 emission levels by 2050. Heavy trucks, ships, planes and trains make up about three-quarters of the nitrogen oxides emitted in California.

Caltrans’s proposals include expanding low-carbon mobility options and promoting the use of pedestrian and bicycle roads. Other potential solutions include working from home, effectively attending a doctor’s visit, and practices that have become common during pandemics.

The plan proposes road tolls, such as tolls and congestion, as a way to reduce emissions and improve travel efficiency. Caltrans’s road pricing priorities include ensuring system fairness, investing revenue in alternative transportation options, and considering the impact on freight and delivery drivers.

According to the plan, “increasing the cost of moving goods can increase the cost of consumers, and truck freight carriers usually have no viable alternative.”

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transport Authority is currently conducting a two-year traffic reduction survey and is considering traffic management based on congestion charges. Los Angeles is home to some of the worst traffic jams in the country. The city was listed four times in the American Transportation Research Institute’s Top Track Bottleneck Report, published in February.

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The fleet is investing in technology-based safety tools that alert and warn of potential risks. But how do you adjust and prepare your driver to respond to safety warnings? Watch the RoadSigns team talk to Tom Di Salvi, Vice President of Safety at Schneider National, and Charlie Mohn, Director of Product Innovation at Drivewyze. Listen to the snippet above and visit the following URL to get the entire program:

During Caltrans’s planning, the pandemic initially eased road congestion in many cities. However, Caltrans showed that vehicle movement had returned to near pre-pandemic levels. Beyond that, authorities have suggested that vehicle movement is expected to worsen, especially if transit passenger numbers are below pre-pandemic levels.

As a way to promote economic and racial justice, Caltrans aims to direct resources to under-invested areas and interact with the general public.

Caltrans predicts that the state’s transportation system will need to support an estimated 45 million inhabitants by 2050. Also, by 2050, truck travel is expected to increase by 40% as the state’s demand for goods increases as the population grows.

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Freight economy among California’s long-term planning priorities Freight economy among California’s long-term planning priorities

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