Great Lakes senators seek boost for maritime system

Great Lakes senators seek boost for maritime system
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Senators who represent states in the Great Lakes area are urging the Department of Transportation to lead an effort aimed at rejuvenating the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence maritime transportation system (MTS).

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The bipartisan group of lawmakers is calling on the department to conduct a system-wide analysis to identify bottlenecks and barriers across the Great Lakes and “unlock the potential” of the maritime system, which they say is under-utilized and only operating at 50 percent of its full capacity.

The proposed strategy includes a mix of policies and projects that would help increase efficiency, reduce costs and encourage new markets such as cruise ships, containers and short sea shipping.

The senators hope the move would double maritime trade and shrink the environmental impact of the transportation system, which contributes more than $30 billion to the U.S. and Canadian economies and is responsible for over 220,000 jobs.

“This analysis would lay the groundwork to help identify where future public and private investment would have broad, systemically significant impacts,” the lawmakers wrote to Transportation Secretary Anthony FoxxAnthony Renard FoxxBig Dem names show little interest in Senate Lyft sues New York over new driver minimum pay law Lyft confidentially files for IPO MORE on Thursday. “We have a tremendous opportunity to seize on past investments, take advantage of available capacity and infrastructure, and begin to unlock the economic potential of the Great Lakes MTS.”

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