Mayor Pete Now DOT Sec'y Pete
February 2, 2021
The Senate voted 86-13 to confirm Pete Buttigieg as the new DOT Secretary
The U.S. Senate this afternoon voted 86-13 to confirm former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg as the Biden Administration's Secretary of Transportation, solidifying a key piece in "Amtrak Joe's" team to lead what he called the Second Rail Revolution on the campaign trail.
“Mayors are the frontline officials in the campaign to rebuild U.S. infrastructure,” said Jim Mathews, President and CEO of Rail Passengers. “As a small-town mayor—and, more specifically, as an Amtrak mayor—Buttigieg will understand the challenges that come with keeping people physically connected to economic opportunity, the inadequacies of existing federal transportation programs, and the unacceptable timelines for review that delay far too many projects. We look forward to working with the incoming secretary on fixing those problems and connecting all Americans to a growing passenger rail network—whether they live on Wall Street or Main Street.”
Buttigieg served as the mayor of South Bend, Indiana between 2012 and 2020. During his tenure, he was a vocal advocate for development of the South Shore Line and the extension of rail service to downtown South Bend, saying that residents "at every level of our economic ladder" would have more opportunities "if the heart of our city was 90 minutes away by train from the heart of one of the most dynamic economic centers in the world.”
All Americans deserve these kinds of opportunities, and our Association stands ready to assist Buttigieg in making this a reality.
Buttigieg will lead a team which the Rail Passengers Association believes could be truly transformative when it comes to surface-transportation investment and policy. We detailed our thoughts on the incoming DOT and policy leadership in a January 22nd post which you can read here.
"I wish to extend my appreciation to members of the Rail Passengers Association for their steadfast advocacy to protect not only the Southwest Chief, but all rail transportation which plays such an important role in our economy and local communities. I look forward to continuing this close partnership, both with America’s rail passengers and our bipartisan group of senators, to ensure a bright future for the Southwest Chief route."
Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS)
April 2, 2019, on receiving the Association's Golden Spike Award for his work to protect the Southwest Chief