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As Texas Leads Nation in Exports, Texas Transportation Commission Establishes Freight Advisory Committee
Contact: Media Relations
Phone: (512) 463-8700
Date: Feb. 8, 2013

Committee represents diverse industries, perspectives, and both private and public sectors

AUSTIN — For 10 consecutive years, Texas ranks as the leading exporter in the nation with more than $251 billion in goods reaching consumers worldwide. Recognizing the important role freight plays in our state, the Texas Transportation Commission recently established its first Freight Advisory Committee. The panel of experts will serve as a forum for agency transportation decisions affecting freight mobility.

“The movement of goods is the backbone of the Texas economy,” said Chairman Ted Houghton, Texas Transportation Committee. “It’s clear that transportation planning needs to include and accommodate freight activity.  “We look forward to the work and input this advisory committee will provide us.”

The group, led by Harris County Judge Ed Emmett as chair and Cameron County Judge Carlos Cascos as vice-chair, will provide advice and recommendations to the Texas Department of Transportation regarding freight transportation and will assist in identifying potential corridors that are critical to the state’s economic growth and global competitiveness.

TxDOT has invited entities from the port, agriculture, trucking, manufacturing, government, energy, retail and rail industries to be a part of the group. Those confirmed include representatives from:  Texas Association of Manufacturers; Texas Port Association; Texas Motor Transportation Association; Texas Farm Bureau; Economic Development and Tourism Division of the Governor's Office; Port of Houston Authority; Texas Economic Development Council; BNSF; and Judge Ed Emmett.  Many of the committee members previously served as members of TxDOT’s Panama Canal Stakeholder Working Group and provided assistance in addressing Texas’ water-borne freight and port challenges. A complete list of members is attached.

“The ability of the state to thrive in the global economy depends on the strength of our freight transportation system,” said TxDOT Executive Director Phil Wilson. “Texas is the global gateway to the United States. One of our top priorities is planning safe and efficient freight transportation movement.”

The advisory committee will meet regularly to develop recommendations regarding statewide freight transportation policies and performance measures, a comprehensive and multimodal statewide freight transportation plan and to provide assistance in identifying freight-related priorities and funding projections. 

The Texas Department of Transportation is responsible for maintaining 80,000 miles of road and for supporting aviation, rail, and public transportation across the state. TxDOT and its 12,000 employees are committed to working with others to provide safe and reliable transportation solutions for Texas by maintaining a safe system, addressing congestion, connecting Texas communities, and being a Best in Class state agency. Find out more at TxDOT.gov. Fan us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.