Posts Tagged ‘Pete Buttigieg’

Biden Administration Infrastructure Priorities to be Aired

March 22, 2021

The Biden administration will discuss its transportation infrastructure priorities during a hearing on March 25 of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg is scheduled to address the committee.

The session will be livestreamed on the committee’s YouTube page.

Buttigieg Makes Pitch for High-Speed Rail

February 9, 2021

Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg called for the United States to invest in high-speed rail during an interview with MSNBC, but stopped short of predicting when or even if that will happen.

Pete Buttigieg

Buttigieg spoke in response to a question of when the U.S. would get high speed rail.

In response, Buttigieg said President Joseph Biden is a “big believer in passenger rail” and pointed out that various other nations have invested in fast passenger train services.

“I want the U.S. to be leading the world when it comes to access to high-speed rail, and I think we have an opportunity to do that, especially with the bipartisan appetite for real investments that we have before us this year,” Buttigieg said.

He was referring to an infrastructure development program the Biden administration plans to push later this year.

Details about that proposal have yet to be announced.

“Look, we’ve been asked to settle for less in this country, and I just don’t know why people in other countries ought to have better train service and more investment in high speed train service than Americans do,” Buttigieg said.

Buttigieg Meets With Amtrak, Transit Officials

February 6, 2021

Newly confirmed Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg stood on a boarding platform at Washington Union Station on Friday to urge compliance with a federal mask mandate aboard trains, planes and buses.

Pete Buttigieg

He also pledged that the Biden Administration will provide financial relief for public transit systems through its American Rescue Plan.

The remarks came during a meeting with Amtrak and Washington public transit officials.

 “We depend on many essential workers for our economy and for our way of life,” Buttigieg said.

“And while many Americans are wrestling with the complexities of working from home, many other Americans don’t have the opportunity, or the option, to work from home, and they are supported by these extraordinary workers who look after the safety, efficiency and effectiveness of American travel.”

Buttigieg said that above all he wanted to thank transportation workers for making it possible for essential trips to be taken and essential goods and service to be delivered during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The mask mandate stems from an executive order signed by President Joseph Biden on Jan. 21 directing facial masks for domestic and international travel.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued its own mandate on Jan. 29 requiring the wearing of facial masks while on public transportation and while in transportation terminals.

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration on Jan. 31 issued a security directive stating the mask mandate applies to passenger railroads, intercity bus services and public transportation.

In the meantime, a coalition of 22 transit agencies has called on Congress to provide $39.3 billion in pandemic relief to public transit systems in order to avoid further service and job cuts.

Buttigieg Confirmed as Secretary of Transportation

February 3, 2021

Former South Bend, Indiana, mayor and presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg was confirmed on Tuesday as the 19th Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Pete Buttigieg

The nomination was approved by the U.S. Senate on an 86-13 vote.

 “I’m honored and humbled by today’s vote in the Senate—and ready to get to work @USDOT,” Buttigieg, 39, tweeted after the vote.

The Biden administration had earlier named Polly Trottenberg, a former New York City Transportation commissioner, to serve as USDOT’s No. 2 in command. Amit Bose was named as deputy administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration and Nuria Fernandez was named deputy administrator of the Federal Transit Administration.

Buttigieg is the youngest member of President Joseph Biden’s cabinet

Buttigieg Pledges to be 2nd Biggest Rail Enthusiast

January 24, 2021

Secretary of Transportation nominee Pete Buttigieg said during his confirmation hearing this week before a Senate committee that he will be the second biggest passenger rail enthusiast in the Biden administration.

Pete Buttigieg

The biggest passenger rail enthusiast would be President Joseph Biden, who is well known for having commuted to Washington on Amtrak during his time in the Senate.

“As a mayor from the industrial Midwest, I will bring a bottom-up perspective on transportation programs and funding,” Buttigieg said.

“If confirmed, I look forward to working with our partners at the state, local, territorial, and tribal levels to find solutions to our infrastructure issues while we also prepare for the future of transportation at a time of great change.”

During the hearing of the Senate Commerce Committee, some committee members pressed Buttigieg to favor their pet rail projects.

Mississippi Republican Roger Wicker invited Buttigieg to visit his state to talk about restoration of Amtrak service along the Gulf Coast.

Amtrak has been absent from that region of the country since 2005 when the Amtrak’s tri-weekly Sunset Limited was suspended following Hurricane Katrina.

Connecticut Democrat Richard Blumenthal pressed Buttigieg to commit to providing federal funding to complete the Gateway Program to replace and rebuild tunnels under the Hudson River that link New York City and New Jersey.

The 111-year-old tunnels were damaged by Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

Buttigieg lacks a transportation industry background but as mayor of South Bend, Indiana, he offered support for a project about to get underway to add double track to the South Shore Commuter line that links that South Bend and Chicago.

As mayor he also supported proposals to extend the South Shore to downtown South Bend and to establish quiet zones on Norfolk Southern and Canadian National routes in the city.

Buttigieg, who is expected to win Senate confirmation, spoke of the economic power of transportation investment, and signaled his intent to make the DOT less auto-centric.

“There are so many ways that people get around, and I think often we’ve had an auto-centric view that has forgotten, historically, about all of the other different modes,” he said.

“We want to make sure anytime we’re doing a street design that it enables cars, and bicycles, and pedestrians and any other modes—and businesses—to co-exist in a positive way, and we should be putting funding behind that.”

One of Buttigieg’s signature transportation efforts as mayor was to push for South Bend to adopt a “Smart Streets” initiative to bolster development of downtown.

This involved redesigning streets to add bike lanes and reduce vehicle lanes as well as working with the private sector to create economic development partnerships.

Buttigieg spoke about his love of Amtrak travel, including trips aboard the Lake Shore Limited during his college years.

 “I enjoy long train trips as well as short ones, and I think Americans ought to be able to enjoy the highest standard of passenger rail service,” he said.

Buttigieg Had Experience With Transportation Issues as Mayor

December 17, 2020

Although U.S Secretary of Transportation nominee Pete Buttigieg has never worked in the transportation field, he has experience with transportation issues from his time as a mid-size city mayor.

Pete Buttigieg

Buttigieg was mayor of South Bend, Indiana, between 2012 and 2019, The city of 100,000, is served by major freight rail lines of Canadian National and Norfolk Southern, and is a stop for Amtrak’s Capitol Limited and Lake Shore Limited.

South Bend is the eastern terminus of the South Shore commuter line to and from Chicago and has an airport served by several airlines.

A report on the Trains magazine website said Buttigieg as mayor supported a project to add 16.9 miles of double track to the South Shore Line between Gary and Michigan City in Indiana.

That work is part of a $460 million project that includes four new bridges, nine new station platforms and the addition of more than 1,300 parking spaces at four stations.

The South Shore has been awarded a $50.6 million Capital Investment Grant from the Federal Transit Administration for the project.

During his time as mayor, Buttigieg also sought federal funding to extend the South Shore Line from South Bend International Airport to the city’s downtown.

The Trains article said the most controversial rail issue Buttigieg faced as a mayor was the revocation by the Federal Railroad Administration in 2017 of the city’s “quiet zone” on CN and NS because it failed to install median barriers at 11 grade crossings.

Various railroad trade organizations on Wednesday issued statements on Wednesday that were generally supportive of Buttigieg’s nomination, which required U.S. Senate approval.

His resume include having served as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve where he was deployed to Afghanistan in 2014. In the Navy Buttigieg rose to the rank of lieutenant.

He is a South Bend native who graduated from Harvard University and was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University.

Buttigieg also has severed as a a consultant at McKinsey & Company in Chicago.

Buttigieg to be next DOT Secretary

December 16, 2020

Mayor Pete will become the next secretary of transportation.

President-elect Joe Biden said on Tuesday that he will nominate former South Bend, Indiana, mayor Pete Buttigieg to head the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Biden reportedly chose Buttigieg over former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo.

The selection was described as the first time a president-elect has chosen one of his former competitors to join his cabinet.

Buttigieg sought the Democratic nomination for president against Biden and several other candidates earlier this year before dropping out and endorsing Biden.

Before serving as mayor of South Bend between 2012 and 2019, Buttigieg served as a U.S. Army intelligence officer in Afghanistan.

He also worked as a consultant at McKinsey & Company in Chicago.

New reports indicated that Buttigieg is expected to oversee efforts to push for Congress to approve an infrastructure stimulus package.