46 USC 55601 - Short sea transportation program
Sec. 55601. Short sea transportation program(a)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Secretary shall establish and implement a short sea transportation grant program to implement projects or components of a project designated under subsection (d).
In order to receive a grant under the program, an applicant shall—
(A) submit an application to the Secretary, in such form and manner, at such time, and containing such information as the Secretary may require; and
(B) demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Secretary that—
(i) the project is financially viable;
(ii) the funds received will be spent efficiently and effectively; and
(iii) a market exists for the services of the proposed project as evidenced by contracts or written statements of intent from potential customers.
An applicant shall provide at least 20 percent of the project costs from non-Federal sources. In awarding grants under the program, the Secretary shall give a preference to those projects or components that present the most financially viable transportation services and require the lowest percentage Federal share of the costs.
Last modified: July 21, 2011