Research Projects

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Research Projects

STATUS: Complete YEAR: 2021 TOPIC AREA: Sustainability, energy, and health Transportation planning, policy, and finance CENTER: PSR

Implementation of Action 6 of the California Sustainable Freight Action Plan (CSFAP) Phase 4: Tracking Economic Competitiveness

Project Summary

Project number: PSR-21-SP80 TO 042
Funding source: Caltrans
Contract number: 65A0674
Funding amount: $310,089
Performance period: 8/1/2021 to 12/31/2023

Research Publications:

Project description

Utilizing Caltrans funding program through Caltrans' Division of Research, Innovation, and System Information (DRISI), GO-Biz initiated the task of establishing a target(s) for increasing the economic competitiveness of the California freight industry as specified by the Governor's Sustainable Freight Action Plan (CSFAP). In collaboration with Caltrans, GO-Biz retained Genevieve Giuliani (USC) as the consultant to assist in carrying out the provisions under Action 6 of the CSFAP. Under previous contracts Giuliano and collaborators accomplished the following:

  • researched and identified definitions for "economic competitiveness" and "freight industry"
  • developed metrics for measuring economic competitiveness
  • identified relevant and accessible freight data for computing annual metrics
  • created a data system for generating metrics and maintaining associated data archives
  • identified overall targets for economic competitiveness

This overall effort is aimed at developing economic competitiveness and growth metrics to track the health of the freight sector while implementing the CSFAP. The metrics will assist in evaluating the state strategies proposed by the CSFAP, and inform climate change investment initiated with the CalSTA Climate Action Plan for Transportation Infrastructure (CAPTI) of 2021by tracking their economic impact on California's freight industry. The CAPTI investment framework prioritizes developing a zero-emission freight transportation system that avoids and mitigates environmental justice impacts, reduces criteria and toxic air pollutants, improves freight's economic competitiveness and efficiency, and integrates multimodal design and planning into infrastructure development on freight corridors. The CAPTI investment framework focuses on developing sustainable freight transportation project prioritization within the California Freight Mobility Plan (CFMP), and focuses on the efficiency of sustainable freight projects.

Under the current contract, Giuliano and collaborators have created a metrics data system, refined metrics, generated a four-year series of metrics, added new metrics for the port sector, and are conducting the first economic impact analysis. GO-Biz convened a working group consisting of freight industry representatives and state agency staff to guide the work of the consultant. The working group meets with the research team approximately semi-annually. This task order will continue to provide support for Action 6 activities for the next two-year period.


Genevieve Giuliano
Professor; Margaret and John Ferraro Chair in Effective Local Government; Senior Associate Dean for Research and Technology; Director, METRANS , Sol Price School of Public Policy
650 Childs Way
Ralph and Goldy Lewis Hall (RGL) 216Los Angeles, CA 90089-0626
United States
[email protected]