The Biden Administration today named a broad slate of senior officials to the Department of Transportation, pointing to priorities of job creation, climate change, and infrastructure development.
Among the 40 names released in the announcement, top posts that could affect policy in the logistics sector over the next four years include:
The list was released on the same day that Pete Buttigieg, Biden’s nominee for secretary of transportation, was testifying at his Senate confirmation hearing. Industry groups such as the National Association of Truck Stop Operators (NATSO), which represents the travel plaza and truckstop sector, today urged Congress to confirm Buttigieg and pledged to support his efforts to boost infrastructure investment.
“NATSO is ready to work with Mr. Buttigieg on an array of transportation issues, including the need for long-term, sustainable highway funding and the need to support policies that encourage off-highway businesses and communities to thrive and evolve,” NATSO President and CEO Lisa Mullings said in a release. “Fundamental to this effort is maintaining existing policies that prohibit commercialization of Interstate rest areas and the longstanding ban on tolling existing Interstate Highways. NATSO is also eager to work with Mr. Buttigieg on policies that further encourage private-sector investment in alternative fueling infrastructure, such as electric vehicle charging, to more quickly bring alternative fuels to market,” Mullings said.
Likewise, the American Trucking Associations (ATA) called on Senators for his swift confirmation. "ATA believes Mr. Buttigieg will make an excellent Transportation Secretary," the group's president and CEO, Chris Spear, said in a release. "As he conveyed throughout his testimony today, greater federal investment in infrastructure is critical to enhancing transportation safety and growing our ailing economy. That work begins with securing immediate funding to address our short-term needs over the next decade while we develop new, technology-driven solutions over the long-term, and ATA stands ready to assist the Biden Administration in advancing a robust highway funding bill across the finish line.”
If confirmed, Buttigieg would replace Elaine Chao, whose tenure was marked by an easing of regulations in rail and highway rules. In contrast, Buttigieg is expected to focus on the elusive goal of procuring funding for infrastructure projects, a hurdle that has snarled previous efforts to restore the nation’s aging roads and bridges.
The list of new appointments features Meera Joshi, a former chair and CEO of the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission who most recently worked as a principal at the transportation consulting firm Sam Schwartz. According to that firm, her work at the city commission included managing the challenges brought on by the rapid growth of the rideshare services Uber and Lyft, such as enhancing passenger safety and protecting driver wage rates. At FMCSA, Joshi will have a hand in making policy decisions on issues like drivers’ hours of service (HoS) caps, a clearinghouse of drug and alcohol test results, and rules on issuing commercial licenses.
In the rail sector, Amit Bose would return to his former position as deputy administrator of the FRA in the Obama administration, after working in the interim at HNTB Corp., an infrastructure and civil engineering firm.
Editor's note: This article was revised on January 21 to include commentary from the ATA.
U.S. Department of Transportation Announces Biden Appointees Ready to Work on Behalf of the American People.https://t.co/e3zuq0sh7S— TransportationGov (@USDOT) January 21, 2021