The transportation sector undoubtedly has brought about numerous economic benefits in the past 100 years. Over the last two decades, however, freight transportation in the U.S. has changed dramatically as a result of increased globalization and the container revolution that facilitated growing international trade. At the same time, the deregulation of the freight transportation modes resulted in increased truck modal share. By the end of the 20th century public agencies increasingly were becoming aware of the cost associated with increased highway travel. Public agencies point to increasing costs associated with expanding and maintaining the highway system as roadways become more and more congested, while others point to the impact of congestion on the efficiency of goods movements, which has direct regional economic impact. Lastly, environmentalists speak about a lurking environmental crisis and point to the growing demand for fossil fuels and the deterioration of air quality associated with increased highway travel.
Jolanda Prozzi, Claudia Delago & C Michael Walton
The University of Texas at Austin
Finances & Economics