The U.S. Senate voted unanimously this week to confirm Anthony Foxx, former mayor of Charlotte, N.C., as the incoming U.S. Secretary of Transportation. He will replace the retiring Ray LaHood in this position.
Mike Regan, chairman of The National Shippers Strategic Transportation Council (NASSTRAC), is optimistic about what Foxx might do to improve the state of the U.S. transportation infrastructure.
“One of Foxx’s long-term accomplishments as mayor of Charlotte was to support the development of the Charlotte Airport,” Regan noted in his congratulatory statement. “Hopefully his enthusiasm for infrastructure investment will carry through to the federal level. NASSTRAC welcome the opportunity to support Secretary Foxx as he moves into his new role. As an industry association, we share his stated goal of having the world’s safest, most efficient transportation network.”
“Clearly, shippers are concerned about the challenges involving freight transportation that Foxx will inherit, including highway funding,” added Brian Everett, NASSTRAC’s executive director. “Finding funds for the next highway bill will be one of his biggest challenges and from what we’re hearing on the Hill, Foxx isn’t likely to have the same investment appetite that LaHood had in striving for a transportation bill in excess of $500 billion.”
Everett also mentioned that as one of the nation’s top safety chiefs, Foxx will have to weigh in on issues expected to emerge during the drafting of the next transportation bill. Those include efforts to alter the size and weight of large trucks on the nation’s federally-funded highways, and human fatigue issues across all modes of transportation.