It’s good to be the chairman.

House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster raised nearly $500,000 in the first quarter — six times what he brought in two years ago and almost 10 times what former Chairman John Mica made in his first quarter without the gavel.

At this pace, Shuster is on track to eclipse in 2013 the $1.6 million he raised in all of 2011 and 2012.

Part of the shift in donations is normal as lobbyists and industry groups donate to the chairman who oversees their issues. But more important, a lobbyist said, is that Shuster is so well-respected in the transportation community.