Trottenberg confirmed as Deputy Secretary of Transportation at USDOT

April 14, 2021
The Senate has voted to confirm Polly Trottenberg to serve in the USDOT’s second top spot.

Polly Trottenberg, the former commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation, has been confirmed by the Senate 82-15 to serve as Deputy Secretary of Transportation at USDOT and joins Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg in the second most senior position at the department. 

Trottenberg is no stranger to Washington, D.C., having served as the assistant secretary for transportation policy and under secretary for polity in the Obama Administration. She has also served multiple U.S. senators, including Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and former U.S. Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY).

Upon completion of the vote, Secretary Buttigieg took to Twitter to offer his congrats to Trottenberg.

Trottenberg garnered praise from New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman and CEO Patrick Foye and Transport Workers Union of America International President John Samuelsen, both of whom Trottenberg worked with during her time at NYC DOT.

“As a leading expert on transportation policy, Deputy Secretary Trottenberg is uniquely qualified for this critical role. I’m confident she will deliver for Americans on the federal level – just as she did in New York– as the administration seeks to pass and implement the historic infrastructure program outlined in the American Jobs Plan,” said Foye. “We are excited to continue working with Polly and Secretary Buttigieg to strengthen and promote public transportation while we recover from this unprecedented crisis.”

“Polly Trottenberg will be an excellent deputy transportation secretary. During her time with the New York City Department of Transportation, Ms. Trottenberg demonstrated a unique level of expertise and professionalism. These next several years will be a pivotal time for workers across America’s transport sectors, and we look forward to continuing to partner with her to protect workers, improve safety, and enhance transportation service delivery across the country,” said Samuelsen.

ITS America President and CEO Shailen Bhatt noted her close working relationship with Trottenberg, who served as a board member of the organization.

“She has a depth of experience and understanding of how technology plays a key role in reducing the epidemic of deaths on our roadways, improving congestion, cutting greenhouse gas emissions from the sector, and creating an equitable 21st-century transportation system,” said Bhatt. “We look forward to working with her, Secretary Buttigieg and the [US]DOT team to move toward ITS America’s vision of a better future transformed by intelligent mobility – one that is safer, greener and smarter.”


Update: Trottenberg was sworn in during the afternoon of April 14 by Secretary Buttigieg. 

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Editor in Chief

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the magazine’s editorial direction and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.