46 U.S. Code Section 55601 - Marine highways transportation program

(a) Establishment.—The Secretary of Transportation shall establish a marine highway transportation program to be known as the "America's Marine highway program" and designate marine highway transportation projects to be conducted under the program to provide a coordinated and capable alternative to landside transportation or to promote marine highway transportation.

(b) Program Elements.—The program shall encourage the use of marine highway transportation through the development and expansion of—

(1) vessels documented under chapter 121 of this title;

(2) shipper utilization;

(3) port and landside infrastructure; and

(4) marine transportation strategies by State and local governments.

(c) Marine Highway Transportation Routes.—The Secretary shall designate marine highway transportation routes as extensions of the surface transportation system to focus public and private efforts to use the waterways to relieve landside congestion along coastal corridors or to promote marine highway transportation. The Secretary may collect and disseminate data for the designation and delineation of marine highway transportation routes.

(d) Project Designation.—The Secretary may designate a project to be a marine highway transportation project if the Secretary determines that the project uses documented vessels and—

(1) mitigates landside congestion; or

(2) promotes marine highway transportation.

(e) Elements of Program.—For a marine highway transportation project designated under this section, the Secretary may—

(1) promote the development of marine highway transportation services;

(2) coordinate, with ports, State departments of transportation, localities, other public agencies, and the private sector and on the development of landside facilities and infrastructure to support marine highway transportation services; and

(3) develop performance measures for the marine highway transportation program.

(f) Multistate, State and Regional Transportation Planning.—The Secretary, in consultation with Federal entities and State and local governments, may develop strategies to encourage the use of marine highway transportation for transportation of passengers and cargo. The Secretary may—

(1) assess the extent to which States and local governments include marine highway transportation and other marine transportation solutions in their transportation planning;

(2) encourage State departments of transportation to develop strategies, where appropriate, to incorporate marine highway transportation, ferries, and other marine transportation solutions for regional and interstate transport of freight and passengers in their transportation planning; and

(3) encourage groups of States and multi-State transportation entities to determine how marine highway transportation can address congestion, bottlenecks, and other interstate transportation challenges.

(g) Grants.—

(1) In general.—The Secretary shall establish and implement a marine highway transportation grant program to implement projects or components of a project designated under subsection (d).

(2) Applications.—In order to receive a grant under the program, an applicant shall—

(A) submit an application to the Secretary, in such form and manner, at such time, and containing such information as the Secretary may require; and

(B) demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Secretary that—

(i) the project is financially viable;

(ii) the funds received will be spent efficiently and effectively; and

(iii) a market exists for the services of the proposed project as evidenced by contracts or written statements of intent from potential customers.

(3) Non-federal share.—An applicant shall provide at least 20 percent of the project costs from non-Federal sources. In awarding grants under the program, the Secretary shall give a preference to those projects or components that present the most financially viable transportation services and require the lowest percentage Federal share of the costs.

Annotations
Citation
46 U.S.C. § 55601 (2021)
Amendments

2021—Pub. L. 116–283, §8332(d)(3)(B), substituted "marine highway" for "short sea" wherever appearing.

Pub. L. 116–283, §8332(d)(3)(A), substituted "Marine highways" for "Short sea" in section catchline.

Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 116–283, §8332(d)(3)(C)(ii), which directed amendment of subsec. (a) by substituting "provide a coordinated and capable alternative to landside transportation or to promote marine highway transportation" for "mitigate landside congestion or to promote short sea transportation", was executed by making the substitution for "mitigate landside congestion or to promote marine highway transportation" to reflect the probable intent of Congress and the intervening amendment by Pub. L. 116–283, §8332(d)(3)(B).

Pub. L. 116–283, §8332(d)(3)(C)(i), substituted "transportation program to be known as the 'America's Marine highway program' " for "transportation program".

Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 116–283, §8332(d)(3)(D)(ii), added par. (1) and struck out former par. (1) which read as follows: "documented vessels;".

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 116–283, §8332(d)(3)(D)(i), which directed amendment of subsec. (b) by substituting "Marine Highway Transportation" for "Short Sea Transportation" in heading, was executed by making the amendment to subsec. (c) to reflect the probable intent of Congress.

2012—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 112–213, §405(a)(1), substituted "landside congestion or to promote short sea transportation." for "landside congestion."

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 112–213, §405(a)(2), substituted "coastal corridors or to promote short sea transportation" for "coastal corridors".

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 112–213, §405(a)(3), substituted "that the project uses documented vessels and—" for "that the project may—" in introductory provisions, added pars. (1) and (2), and struck out former pars. (1) and (2) which read as follows:

"(1) offer a waterborne alternative to available landside transportation services using documented vessels; and

"(2) provide transportation services for passengers or freight (or both) that may reduce congestion on landside infrastructure using documented vessels."

Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 112–213, §405(a)(4), substituted "may" for "shall" in two places in introductory provisions.

2009—Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 111–84 added subsec. (g).

Effective Date

Section effective 1 day after Dec. 19, 2007, see section 1601 of Pub. L. 110–140, set out as a note under section 1824 of Title 2, The Congress.

Miscellaneous
Regulations

Pub. L. 110–140, title XI, §1121(c), Dec. 19, 2007, 121 Stat. 1762, provided that:

"(1) Interim regulations.—Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act [Dec. 19, 2007], the Secretary of Transportation shall issue temporary regulations to implement the program under this section. Subchapter II of chapter 5 of title 5, United States Code, does not apply to a temporary regulation issued under this paragraph or to an amendment to such a temporary regulation.

"(2) Final regulations.—Not later than October 1, 2008, the Secretary of Transportation shall issue final regulations to implement the program under this section."

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