Posts Tagged ‘secretary of transportation’

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.

Acting Secretary of Transportation Named

January 14, 2021

Steven G. Bradbury has been named acting secretary of transportation following the Jan. 11 resignation of Elaine Chao as secretary.

DOT officials said the appointment was made in accordance with the department’s established order of succession.

His term as acting secretary is expected to be brief. President-elect Joseph Biden, who takes office on Jan. 20, has nominated former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg as the next secretary of transportation.

Bradbury has served as general counsel of USDOT since Nov. 27, 2017. In that role he has had authority to resolve all legal questions regarding the agency’s policies and programs.

He has also overseen DOT’s 55,000 employees and  $87 billion budget since Sept. 10, 2019, as a member of the Office of Deputy Secretary of Transportation.

Chao, who was an original member of President Donald Trump’s cabinet, announced her resignation on Jan. 7, the day after a mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol.

Both Chao and Bradbury had pledged to work toward a smooth transition to the next leadership team of the agency.

Chao Stepping Down as Transportation Secretary

January 7, 2021

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao will leave her post on Jan. 11.

Although Chao referenced Wednesday’s riots at the U.S. Capitol in her resignation letter, she would have been leaving office later this month anyway due to the inauguration of a new president.

Chao in a letter to DOT employees called the storming of the Capitol “a traumatic and entirely avoidable event. It has deeply troubled me in a way that I simply cannot set aside.”

President-elect Joseph Biden has nominated Pete Buttigieg as the next transportation secretary.

In her letter to DOT employees, Chao said she was “tremendously proud of the many accomplishments we were able to achieve together for our country.”

She pledged to help Buttigieg in the transition to become head of DOT.

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.

Chao Confirmed as Secretary of Transportation

February 1, 2017

The U.S. Senate on Tuesday confirmed Elaine L. Chao as the new federal secretary of transportation. The vote was 93-6.

US DOTChao is the only member of the Donald L. Trump administration cabinet to have previously served as a cabinet secretary, having been secretary of labor in the George W. Bush administration.

She drew bipartisan praise during her confirmation hearings and on the Senate floor.

Chao also served as chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission.

Her confirmation was lauded by the Association of American Railroads and the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association.

Both trade associations are expecting Chao to take a railroad industry friendly approach to regulation.

“Ms. Chao has a deep appreciation of critical surface transportation issues. This includes the important role the rail industry plays in this country,” said Edward R. Hamberger, AAR president.

Amtrak Board Chairman Tony Coscia congratulated Chao, saying he looked forward to working with her to strengthen Amtrak. The DOT secretary has a seat on the Amtrak board of directors.