Tuesday, January 29, 2013

LaHood stepping down as Secretary of Transportation

LaHood stepping down as Secretary of Transportation USDOT Fast Lane Blog

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is stepping down and will not serve a second term.

"I have let President Obama know that I will not serve a second term as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation," he stated in his official blog Fast Lane. "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 I look back on the past four years, I am proud of what we have accomplished together in so many important areas," he continued. "But what I am most proud of is the DOT team. You exemplify the best of public service and I truly appreciate all that you have done to make America better, to make your communities better and to make DOT better.

"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 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 more than $3.1 billion in Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants to 218 transportation projects across the Nation. [We] have 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.

"Each of these remarkable accomplishments is a tribute your hard work, creativity, commitment to excellence and most of all, your dedication to our country. DOT is fortunate to have such an extraordinary group of public servants. I look forward to continuing to work with all of you as the selection and confirmation process of the next transportation secretary moves forward. Now is not the time to let up, we still have a number of critical safety goals to accomplish and still more work to do on the implementation of MAP-21.

Upon hearing the news, Association of American Railroads President and CEO Ed Hamberger said, "Secretary LaHood brought passion, energy and a deep commitment to safety to his work at the Department of Transportation. Under his leadership, railroads have never been safer. In addition, he understood the importance of freight rail to our nation's economic vitality. We thank him for a job well done."

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