Industry reacts hopefully to DOT Secretary nomination

Industry groups reacted with hopeful optimism to the April 29 announcement that the Obama Administration has tapped Charlotte NC Mayor Anthony Foxx to be the next Secretary of Transportation. If confirmed, he would succeed current Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

Commenting April 30 during the National Tank Truck Carriers annual conference in Austin TX, NTTC President Dan Furth said: “We’re very pleased that President Obama acted to fill this important position at a time when we have serious transportation issues. Every American knows we have infrastructure challenges that must be addressed.

“We very much look forward to working with Mayor Foxx and his existing team and the Department of Transportation (DOT). He comes from the Mid-Atlantic Region where we have a significant tank truck presence, and we are optimistic that he appreciates the essential role the tank truck industry plays in the US economy.”

Bill Graves, American Trucking Associations President and chief executive officer, said: “On behalf of ATA, I’d like to congratulate Mayor Foxx on his nomination as transportation secretary and say we look forward to working with him once he’s confirmed by the Senate. As mayor of a large city, Mayor Foxx dealt with very similar challenges with regard to transportation issues that I did when I was governor--chiefly responding to the demands of constituents and developing a multimodal transportation network. As someone who can appreciate how hard it can be to actually do that, I wish Mayor Foxx luck and I look forward to working with him to ensure that Americans have the first-rate, world-class transportation system they deserve.”

The chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of America, Stephen E Sandherr, released the following statement: “It is encouraging that President Obama has decided to nominate someone who has first-hand experience with the significant challenges posed by our chronic under-investment in infrastructure and years-long and broken regulatory review process. Charlotte Mayor Foxx has a unique opportunity to promote new sources of revenue to address chronic shortfalls in federal funding for our aging network of highways, bridges, airports and transit systems. In addition, he will be well suited to ensure that the Department of Transportation takes the steps required in the most recent surface transportation legislation to significantly reduce the time it takes for federal officials to approve new transportation projects. We will never be able to compete globally if it takes over a decade to approve new ways of moving goods and services from one point to another in this country.”

Bud Wright, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials executive director, said: “The nation’s State departments of transportation--the owners and operators of the national highway system and the leaders in innovative transportation solutions--look forward to working with Mayor Foxx on the important transportation issues facing the nation and on identifying a long-term sustainable transportation funding source. AASHTO also wishes Secretary LaHood the very best. His leadership was instrumental to the successful implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, passage of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), and improved national transportation safety.”

Not surprisingly, the strongest endorsement came from the US Conference of Mayors. Conference president and Mayor of Philadelphia PA, Michael A Nutter, said: "The nation's Mayors commend President Obama for naming a mayor from a major metropolitan area to his cabinet. Foxx, like all mayors, is pragmatic and knows what it takes to get things done.

"During his tenure with The Conference of Mayors, Mayor Foxx has been a very active member. Elected to serve on the organization's Advisory Board, then appointed as past Co-Chair of the USCM Small Business and Franchising Task Force, and now as Chair of the USCM Advanced Manufacturing Task Force, as well as a member of the new Infrastructure Financing for Cities Task Force, Foxx is a natural leader who quickly made his mark on the organization.

"As an executive, Mayor Foxx is keenly aware of the connection between transportation investment, economic growth and job creation, and he understands how critical transportation investment is to cities and metropolitan areas in fueling economic growth and recovery.

"One example of his leadership is his strong advocacy for his 2030 Transit Corridor System Plan, a growth stimulating investment in his region's public transportation network that includes 25 miles of commuter rail, 21 miles of light rail, 16 miles of streetcar, 14 miles of bus rapid transit, and an expanded network of buses and other transit services.”

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