United States Code
USC most recently checked for updates: Oct 22, 2020
Development of water transportation
It is the policy of Congress—
to promote, encourage, and develop water transportation, service, and facilities for the commerce of the United States; and
to foster and preserve rail and water transportation.
In this section, “inland waterway” includes the Great Lakes.
The Secretary of Transportation shall—
investigate the types of vessels suitable for different classes of inland waterways to promote, encourage, and develop inland waterway transportation facilities for the commerce of the United States;
investigate water terminals, both for inland waterway traffic and for through traffic by water and rail, including the necessary docks, warehouses, and equipment, and investigate railroad spurs and switches connecting with those water terminals, to develop the types most appropriate for different locations and for transferring passengers or property between water carriers and rail carriers more expeditiously and economically;
consult with communities, cities, and towns about the location of water terminals, and cooperate with them in preparing plans for terminal facilities;
investigate the existing status of water transportation on the different inland waterways of the United States to learn the extent to which—
the waterways are being used to their capacity and are meeting the demands of traffic; and
water carriers using those waterways are interchanging traffic with rail carriers;
investigate other matters that may promote and encourage inland water transportation; and
compile, publish, and distribute information about transportation on inland waterways that the Secretary considers useful to the commercial interests of the United States.
cite as: 49 USC 303a