American Public Transportation Association

APTA President on News that Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Will be Leaving

“On behalf of the 1,500 APTA members and the tens of millions of public transit riders, I want to convey my respect and appreciation for U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. He has been an outstanding transportation leader and a tireless advocate for public transportation. Although he is leaving, we know that his hard work and dedication to advancing public transportation will continue on in the programs that were championed under his leadership.

Secretary LaHood understood that transportation is not a collection of monolithic modes, but is instead an interconnected system. He highlighted how strategic investments in our transportation system have far reaching positive ripple effects that benefit a much larger base than just those people who directly use the systems. Or to put it another way, transportation does not exist in a vacuum; it impacts communities and the people who live in the communities. Part of Secretary LaHood’s legacy is that he approached transportation planning with an awareness of the total transportation system.

In addition, Secretary LaHood placed the issue of sustainability and livable communities on the front burner of federal transportation policy through programs like the interagency Partnership for Sustainable Communities, and through the TIGER and TIGGER grants. To a degree that no other DOT Secretary had previously done, he emphasized the importance of including sustainability and livability into transportation planning.

Another historic transportation initiative under his leadership was the introduction of the High-Speed Rail program, which started in 2009 under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. He is a great supporter of high-speed and intercity passenger rail, as he is for all modes of public transportation.

APTA thanks Secretary LaHood for a job well done. It is a pleasure to work with him.”