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Framework for Developing Economic Competitiveness Measures for the California Sustainable Freight Action Plan.
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    The METRANS Transportation Center has been providing technical assistance to the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) in support of implementing the California Sustainable Freight Action Plan (CSFAP). The work is focused on Action 6 of the CSFAP: ACTION 6: Convene industry stakeholder working groups to identify a target or targets and deploy strategies that consider commercial viability and promote the competitiveness of California’s statewide and local freight transport system. Develop economic growth and competitiveness metrics, models, and other tools and data to analyze benefits and impacts of actions, including costs, and develop and implement a suite of quantitative metrics to track progress in order to ensure that the impacts of actions on economic growth and competitiveness are considered throughout the development and implementation process. The CSFAP further states: § Establish a target or targets for increased State competitiveness and future economic growth within the freight industry based on common-sense economic competitiveness and growth metrics and models developed by a working group §The targets and tools will support flexibility, efficiency, investment, and best business practices through State policies and programs that create a positive environment for growing freight volumes and jobs, § while working with industry to mitigate potential negative economic impacts. §The targets and tools will help evaluate the strategies proposed under the Action Plan to ensure consideration of impacts on economic growth and competitiveness throughout the development and implementation process (adapted from CSFAP, p. 10) In order to launch implementation of the economic competitiveness part of the CSFAP, the METRANS team conducted two meetings with the Economic Competitiveness working group. The first meeting took place on January 30, 2017, with 18 in attendance (including METRANS and agency staff). The purpose of this meeting was to articulate the issues that need to be 2 addressed in order to develop the economic competitiveness target and metrics as required by the CSFAP. The meeting ended with a “homework assignment” to working group members to respond to the series of questions presented at the meeting. Four members sent responses to METRANS; 10 additional members responded via interviews conducted by a METRANS graduate student. The second meeting took place on March 7, 2017, with 25 in attendance. This was an all day workshop organized to 1) develop and agree upon definitions required to establish metrics, and 2) introduce options for generating metrics. Definitions were agreed upon, and there was a good discussion of metrics. Despite the progress, however, the working group has not made sufficient progress to articulate a detailed scope of work for a consultant at this time. In view of the need to request a budget for continuing the work, METRANS recommends a phased approach. Additional work and meetings with the working group would continue for an additional 3 months, and a consultant would then be employed to conduct the longer term work.
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