It is the policy of the United States Government to develop a National Intermodal Transportation System that is economically efficient and environmentally sound, provides the foundation for the United States to compete in the global economy, and will move individuals and property in an energy efficient way.
(b) System Characteristics.—
The National Intermodal Transportation System shall consist of all forms of transportation in a unified, interconnected manner, including the transportation systems of the future, to reduce energy consumption and air pollution while promoting economic development and supporting the United States’ preeminent position in international commerce.
The National Intermodal Transportation System shall include a National Highway System consisting of the Dwight D. Eisenhower System of Interstate and Defense Highways and those principal arterial roads that are essential for interstate and regional commerce and travel, national defense, intermodal transfer facilities, and international commerce and border crossings.
The National Intermodal Transportation System shall include significant improvements in public transportation necessary to achieve national goals for improved air quality, energy conservation, international competitiveness, and mobility for elderly individuals, individuals with disabilities, and economically disadvantaged individuals in urban and rural areas of the United States.
The National Intermodal Transportation System shall provide improved access to ports and airports, the Nation’s link to commerce.
The National Intermodal Transportation System shall give special emphasis to the contributions of the transportation sectors to increased productivity growth. Social benefits must be considered with particular attention to the external benefits of reduced air pollution, reduced traffic congestion, and other aspects of the quality of life in the United States.
The National Intermodal Transportation System must be operated and maintained with insistent attention to the concepts of innovation, competition, energy efficiency, productivity, growth, and accountability. Practices that resulted in the lengthy and overly costly construction of the Dwight D. Eisenhower System of Interstate and Defense Highways must be confronted and stopped.
The National Intermodal Transportation System shall be adapted to “intelligent vehicles”, “magnetic levitation systems”, and other new technologies, wherever feasible and economical, with benefit cost estimates given special emphasis on safety considerations and techniques for cost allocation.
When appropriate, the National Intermodal Transportation System will be financed, as regards Government apportionments and reimbursements, by the Highway Trust Fund. Financial assistance will be provided to State and local governments and their instrumentalities to help carry out national goals related to mobility for elderly individuals, individuals with disabilities, and economically disadvantaged individuals.
The National Intermodal Transportation System must be the centerpiece of a national investment commitment to create the new wealth of the United States for the 21st century.