Pena Accepts Port Award, Stresses Highway System Legislation
Accepting the inaugural "Port Person of the Year" award, Secretary of Transportation Federico Pena emphasized the administration's strong commitment to America's ports — to intermodalism and the role of ports in the National Transportation System.
Mr. Pena said the first major step toward the development of the National Transportation system, launched last December, is passage of the National Highway System (NHS) Legislation before Congress.
He urged all members of the port constituency to support efforts to pass the NHS, pointing out that in addition to targeting the most economically strategic 159,000 miles of the nation's roads and highways, the plan also includes landslide connections to 104 of the nation's ports.
"This administration's commitment to ports f i t s seamlessly — you might even s ay intermodally — with the drive to open markets all over the world, to strengthen America's economy, to create good jobs, and to build on our country's role as the world's greatest trading power," Mr. Pena said.
The secretary was honored by the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) at its annual convention luncheon for his efforts 01 issues critical to the public port community. "Our commitment to ports goes far beyonc funding current projects — or even the NHJ landslide connections," he said. "The Nationa Transportation system is a long-term strategii project, a truly integrated, truly national systen ... t h a t we are now working to define with cities states and private industries across America... ii will go far beyond highways to embrace rail anc transit systems, pipelines, waterways, airports seaports and all of the intermodal connection; between them." He told the audience that "as pioneers ir intermodalism, port officials can bring to the evolving National Transportation System a more fully developed sense of what NTS can reallj achieve — not only by fostering intermodalism but by opening our eyes to wide issues and options in all of America's future transportation decisions." The real significance of the process, he said, "is the way it will enable us to take the next step — toward flexible, fully integrated transportation planning and investment."