Surface and Maritime Transportation:

Challenges and Strategies for Enhancing Mobility

GAO-02-1132T: Published: Sep 30, 2002. Publicly Released: Sep 30, 2002.

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The scope of the U.S. surface and maritime transportation systems--which primarily includes roads, mass transit systems, railroads, and ports and waterways--is vast. One of the major goals of these systems is to provide and enhance mobility. With increasing passenger and freight travel, the surface and maritime transportation systems face a number of challenges in ensuring continued mobility. These challenges include: (1) preventing congestion from overwhelming the transportation system, and (2) ensuring access to transportation for certain underserved populations and achieving a balance between enhancing mobility and giving due regard to environmental and other social goals. There is no one solution for the mobility challenges facing the nation, and numerous approaches are needed to address these challenges. These strategies include: (1) focusing on the entire surface and maritime transportation system rather than on specific modes or types of travel to achieve desired mobility outcomes, (2) using a full range of techniques to achieve desired mobility outcomes, and (3) providing more options for financing mobility improvements and considering additional sources of revenue.

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