Here is a look at some of the transportation headlines gathered by us and the Metro Library. The full list of headlines is posted on the Library’s Headlines blog, which you can also access via email subscription or RSS feed.
Ray LaHood stepping down as U.S. Transportation Secretary (Washington Post)
The news became official today, with Secretary LaHood saying that he will remain on the job until a successor is nominated and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Excerpt:
LaHood’s relentless campaign against distracted driving, his safety-first mantra and his determination to visit every state in the union gave the Peoria native a higher profile than several predecessors in the role, traditionally played out in the shadow of more glamorous Cabinet jobs.
LaHood made the announcement in a statement Tuesday: “I have let President Obama know that I will not serve a second term as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation. It has been an honor and a privilege to lead the Department, and I am grateful to President Obama for giving me such an extraordinary opportunity. I plan to stay on until my successor is confirmed to ensure a smooth transition for the Department and all the important work we still have to do.”
As the Post article states, there has certainly been rumor mill speculation about who will be the next transportation secretary. This game, of course, has been in play for the past several months but I’ve yet to see a single media story mention a source’s name or affiliation so readers can judge whether that information is reliable. With that significant caveat, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s name has surfaced in several media reports and that’s certainly interesting given his role on the Metro Board of Directors for almost eight years and his push for expanded federal funding of local transit projects.
Here’s an excerpt from Secretary LaHood’s blog:
Our achievements are significant. We have put safety front and center with the Distracted Driving Initiative and a rule to combat pilot fatigue that was decades in the making. We have made great progress in improving the safety of our transit systems, pipelines, and highways, and in reducing roadway fatalities to historic lows. We have strengthened consumer protections with new regulations on buses, trucks, and airlines.
We helped jumpstart the economy and put our fellow Americans back to work with $48 billion in transportation funding from the American Recovery and Investment Act of 2009, and awarded over $3.1 billion in TIGER grants to 218 transportation projects across the Nation. We have made unprecedented investments in our nation’s ports. And we have put aviation on a sounder footing with the FAA reauthorization, and secured funding in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act to help States build and repair their roads, bridges and transit systems.
And to further secure our future, we have taken transportation into the 21st century with CAFE Standards, NextGen, and our investments in passenger and High-Speed Rail. What’s more, we have provided the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy with the funding and leadership it needs to prepare a new generation of midshipmen to meet our country’s rapidly-evolving defense and maritime transportation needs.