NARP Welcomes Elaine Chao as New Secretary of Transportation
January 31, 2017
For Immediate Release (#17-01)
Contact: Robert Brady – (202) 680-4951
Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Railroad Passengers (NARP) welcomes Elaine Chao as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) following her confirmation by the United States Senate today.
“Secretary Chao has notable experience in the federal government, as well as knowledge on transportation issues that can impact passenger rail service,” said Jim Mathews, President and CEO of NARP. “As a member of the National Advisory Committee on Travel and Tourism Infrastructure (NACTTI) which was set up by Congress last year to provide advice to the Secretary, we look forward to working with Secretary Chao on these important topics.”
In November 2016, Mathews was appointed to NACTTI, which was created by the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. The committee brings together some of the nation’s top transportation and tourism experts, from both private and public sectors, and provides direct advice and recommendations to the DOT Secretary on transportation and infrastructure issues.
NARP urges Secretary Chao to lead in the implementation of the Trump Administration’s promise of increased investment in infrastructure, including the modernization of the national rail network. As head of the U.S. DOT, Secretary Chao is an important advocate for projects of national significance, including the Gulf Coast Rail restoration project and the New York/New Jersey Gateway Project. Secretary Chao should also defend the right of local officials to have a voice in which projects are funded, which will help ensure rural Americans have transportation choice. Finally, Secretary Chao should prioritize projects that—when paired with sensible Buy American provisions—will create domestic manufacturing jobs, such as purchasing new trainsets to replace Amtrak’s aging fleet.
About the National Association of Railroad Passengers
NARP is the only national organization speaking for the nearly 40 million users of passenger trains and rail transit. We have worked since 1967 to expand the quality and quantity of passenger rail in the U.S. Our mission is to work towards a modern, customer-focused national passenger train network that provides a travel choice Americans want. Our work is supported by more than 28,000 individual members nationwide.
"It is an honor to be recognized by the Rail Passengers Association for my efforts to strengthen and expand America’s passenger rail. Golden spikes were once used by railroads to mark the completion of important rail projects, so I am truly grateful to receive the Golden Spike Award as a way to mark the end of a career that I’ve spent fighting to invest in our country’s rail system. As Chair of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, it has been my priority to bolster funding for Amtrak, increase and expand routes, look to the future by supporting high-speed projects, and improve safety, culminating in $66 billion in new funding in the Bipartisan infrastructure Law."
Representative Peter DeFazio (OR-04)
March 30, 2022, on receiving the Association's Golden Spike Award for his years of dedication and commitment to passenger rail.