Two of the USA’s leading transportation organizations are looking forward to working with the new Trump administration and have welcomed the selection of Elaine Chao as the new US Transportation Secretary.
Chao was nominated to head the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) by President Donald Trump after his election victory in November 2016. She became the first Taiwanese American to reach Cabinet office when she was appointed US Secretary of Labor by President George W Bush (Junior) from 2001-2009, and had previously served as Deputy Secretary of Transportation under his father, President George H W Bush (Senior), from 1989. Chao is expected to take up the role later today (January 24).
Following Chao’s confirmation hearing in front of the US Senate Commerce, Science & Transportation Committee last week, Patrick D Jones, executive director and CEO of the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (IBTTA), stated, “During today’s hearing, designee Chao stated in her opening remarks that a challenge for our nation’s infrastructure is to ‘unleash the potential for private investment in our nation’s infrastructure’. As we work together to develop the details of President Trump’s infrastructure plan, it is important to note the significant difference between traditional program funding and other innovative financing tools, such as public-private partnerships.
“The IBTTA and the tolling industry are excited to work to advance the new administration’s vision to invest in restoring America’s crumbling roads, bridges, and other critical infrastructure over the next decade. We look forward to ensuring that toll finance remains an important component of any proposal to rebuild our nation’s transportation infrastructure. We will do our part to meet our country’s surface transportation infrastructure needs.”
Following the final actions from the outgoing Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx to advance automated vehicle testbeds and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) guidance, and the inauguration of President Trump, ITS America’s president and CEO, Regina Hopper, said, “It is quite meaningful to all Americans that among the final acts of the outgoing administration were two important steps to advance the next generation of transportation. There are few areas more ripe for bipartisan progress than not only repairing our nation’s physical infrastructure, but propelling it forward by accelerating the widespread deployment of technologies that will save lives, create new jobs at home, and grow our nation’s economy and advance our global competitiveness.”
Hopper continued, “President Trump has clearly and rightly identified infrastructure as a top priority, and we look forward to working with his administration to advance both traditional and transformational transportation initiatives. ITS America congratulates President Trump on his inauguration and commends him for his selection of Elaine Chao as our next US Transportation Secretary.
“She will be a strong leader at an essential moment in time at the intersection of technology and transportation. The intelligent transportation community stands ready to work with the Trump administration in the spirit of public-private collaboration to unlock for all Americans the full potential of what intelligent transportation systems have to offer.”