The Freight Mobility & Trade Plan (FMTP) is a comprehensive plan that identifies freight transportation facilities critical to the state’s economic growth and guides multimodal freight investments in the state. The 2012 HB 599 directed FDOT to develop this plan, and the federal re-authorization bill, MAP-21, also encouraged the creation of state freight plans. To receive funding under the National Highway Freight Program (23 U.S.C. 167), the FAST Act requires the development of a state freight plan which must comprehensively address the state’s freight planning activities and investments both immediate and long-range.
Historic Timeline and Changing Requirements
Approved on April 27, 2012, by signature of Governor Scott, Florida House Bill 599 required the Florida Department of Transportation to develop the Freight Mobility & Trade Plan to assist in making freight mobility investments that contribute to the economic growth of the state. The goals for the creation of the plan were:
- Increasing the flow of domestic and international trade through the state's seaports and airports, including specific policies and investments that will recapture cargo currently shipped through seaports and airports located outside the state.
- Increasing the development of intermodal logistic centers in the state, including specific strategies, policies, and investments that capitalize on the empty backhaul trucking and rail market in the state.
- Increasing the development of manufacturing industries in the state, including specific policies and investments in transportation facilities that will promote the successful development and expansion of manufacturing facilities.
- Increasing the implementation of compresses natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG), and propane energy policies that reduce transportation costs for businesses and residents located in the state.
The federal reauthorization bill, Moving Ahead for progress in the 21st century (MAP-21), directed the creation of state freight plans. With a state freight plan, Florida freight projects could qualify for a higher federal share of funds. Superseding MAP-21, on December 4, 2015, President Obama signed into law the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act). The FAST Act includes several provisions to improve the condition and performance of the national freight network and to support investment in freight-related surface transportation projects. In order to receive funding under the National Highway Freight Program(23 U.S.C 167), the FAST Act requires each State to develop a State freight plan. State freight plans must, among other requirements:
- Cover a five-year forecast period,
- Be fiscally constrained,
- Include a "freight investment plan" with a list of priority projects, and
- Describe how the State will invest and match its National Highway Freight Program funds.