Impacts of Truck and Railroad Deregulation on Transportation Operations and Economic Activity in the State of Washington - Final Report

The Motor Carrier Act of 1980 and the Staggers Rail Act of 1980 have partially set aside decades of rigid regulations of interstate freight movement. These actions have the potential to bring forth significant changes to the networks of interstate freight transportation. The object of this research was to ascertain the impacts of deregulation on the Washington State transportation system. Information was obtained by surveying and interviewing shippers and freight transportation providers throughout the state. Anticipated impacts, e.g., accelerated rail abandonment or loss of motor carrier service to small communities were not present. The study reflects a relative increase in truck service and decrease in rail service since deregulation. Indications are this may be further amplified in certain regions of the state. The study recommends that potential highway impacts be incorporated into pavement management systems. Transportation officials are enjoined to treat issues relative to truck size and weight, highway cost allocation and deregulation as a single issue. Also, the Local Rail Service Assistance Program should be considered for use to offset any adverse impacts resulting from deregulation. During this period of the study, general economic conditions were poor. This resulted in a decrease in freight shipments and would suggest that some of the impacts of deregulation have been suppressed.

Publication Date: 
Monday, May 31, 1982
Publication Number: 
WA-RD 045.2
Last modified: 
10/12/2016 - 15:40
Washington (State). Public Transportation and Planning Division.
Washington (State). Public Transportation and Planning Division.
Number of Pages: 
Deregulation, Economic factors, Freight traffic, Railroads, Trucking.