Senate votes to confirm Amit Bose as FRA administrator

Jan. 13, 2022
Bose is set to become the 15th administrator of the FRA and the first of South-Asian descent.

The U.S. Senate voted 61-29, with 10 senators not voting, to confirm Amit Bose to be the administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). Bose currently serves as deputy administrator of the FRA and was nominated as administrator by President Joe Biden on April 22, 2021.

Bose becomes the 15th administrator of the FRA and will be the first person of South-Asian descent to serve in the position. He was born in Laheriasarai, Bihar, India, before coming to the United States at age five.

As administrator, Bose will lead FRA’s safety regulatory oversight of more than 800 freight and passenger railroads, national rail policy, planning and environmental activities, as well as the agency’s financial assistance grant programs. Bose will also oversee FRA programs to improve and modernize the nation’s freight and passenger rail network by administering the $66 billion investment in rail projects under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Those funds will be supplemented by an additional $36 billion in annual authorized appropriations over five years to support projects and programs that improve safety, reliability, efficiency, resiliency, equity and sustainability.

Bose previously served at the FRA during the Obama Administration as deputy administrator, chief counsel, senior advisor and director of government affairs. He has also worked at the U.S. Department of Transportation as associate general counsel and deputy assistant secretary for governmental affairs. Outside of the federal government, Bose has worked at HNTB where he served as board chair of the Coalition for the Northeast Corridor and on the New Jersey Restart and Recovery Advisory Council. He also worked for New Jersey Transit and the New Jersey Department of Transportation.

“From his work with New Jersey Transit to his leadership at FRA during two administrations, Amit has spent his distinguished career supporting America’s railways,” said Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “Amit’s experience and expertise will be invaluable as we work to implement the president’s historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which includes the largest investment in passenger rail since the creation of Amtrak.”

Bose called serving the Biden Administration “an honor and privilege.”

“America’s railroads are an indispensable part of our transportation system and national economy. This is an exciting time to lead approximately 900 FRA employees as we seek to advance America’s second great rail revolution,” said Bose.

Paul P. Skoutelas, president and CEO of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) issued a statement that read, “Administrator Bose is a great friend to the railroad industry, a champion of passenger transportation, and a dedicated public servant. We are privileged to have Amit as the head of the Federal Railroad Administration and excited for his vision for the passenger rail industry. Throughout his career, he has been involved in some of the highest profile rail and transportation projects this country has seen. Along with an expertise in high-speed passenger rail, he also brings a private sector perspective to his work at FRA. We appreciate President Biden’s support of our industry and stand ready to work with Secretary Buttigieg and Administrator Bose to achieve the passenger rail and public transportation future the president has worked on throughout his career.”

The Railway Engineering-Maintenance Suppliers Association (REMSA), which represents rail maintenance-of-way manufacturers and suppliers, engineers, contractors and consultants, offered its congratulations to Bose on his confirmation.

“His experience with rail projects and at multiple levels of government will benefit the administration and its stakeholders. We look forward to working with him and the FRA on issues that impact rail suppliers and the maintenance-of-way industry,” REMSA said.

California’s Intercity Rail Corridors Linking Everyone (CIRCLE), an advocacy coalition consisting of the Los Angeles – San Diego – San Luis Obispo Rail Corridor (LOSSAN) Rail Corridor Agency, the Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority (CCJPA), and the San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority (SJJPA), issued a letter to Bose offering the entity's congratulations and saying the coalition looks forward to working with him and the FRA. 

"We know that we all share the same commitment to ensuring our intercity passenger railroad system continues to effectively serve riders and is positioned to grow in the future," the letter signed by SJJPA Executive Director Stacey Mortensen, CCJPA Managing Director Rob Padgette and LOSSAN Managing Director Donna DeMartino read. "We believe California and our agencies are well positioned to implement intercity passenger railroad projects efficiently and effectively, with a proven track record of success."

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group 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.