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Former Transportation Secretary LaHood Lands Position with Bloomberg’s Transportation Coalition

@denschaal

Jan 08, 2014 2:30 pm

Skift Take

Bloomberg is honing his reputation as Mr. Transportation, although the idea of congestion pricing didn’t fly with New York-area commuters. It isn’t surprise that he would reach out to LaHood, although this co-chairmanship doesn’t sound like a full-time gig. Let’s see where LaHood lands next.

— Dennis Schaal

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Rebecca Cook  / Reuters

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood talks about an agreement to build a new public bridge between Detroit, Michigan and Windsor, Canada during a news conference in Windsor Canada in this file photo taken June 15, 2012. Rebecca Cook / Reuters


Maybe Ray LaHood can do his part to help the country cope better with the next polar vortex.

Building America’s Future Educational Fund, a bipartisan group pushing transportation funding that was co-founded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and a couple of ex-governors, Arnold Schwarzenegger of California, and Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania in 2008, announced that LaHood would be joining them as co-chairs of the organization.

LaHood, who presided over the U.S. Department of Transportation from 2009 to 2013 [pdf] as it implemented tarmac-delay rules, overhauled pilot rest rules, campaigned against distracted driving, and started laying the ground work for the NextGen air-traffic control system, said today that he’s pleased to join the group, arguing that “it is time to take action” because the Highway Trust Fund is just months away from insolvency.”

Bloomberg has been emphasizing that the country has to be better prepared for calamitous weather events such as Hurricane Sandy and the extreme weather conditions, punctuated by the polar vortex, of the last fews days, which led to the cancellation of some 18,000 flights nationwide.

“We need Washington to step up and provide the necessary funding so cities can invest in stronger, more resilient infrastructure that is able to withstand future severe weather events,” Bloomberg said.

LaHood’s appointment parallel’s another transportation pet project for the former New York City mayor.

His Bloomberg Associates consulting group has been busy hiring transportation and tourism officials to advise local governments in the U.S. and abroad on strategies to turn urban areas into greener and more mass-transit friendly locales.

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