Biden Names Former NYC Transportation Commissioner to Deputy Job at USDOT
Washington D.C. – President-elect Joe Biden has named the former Transportation Commissioner of New York City (NYC) as the next Deputy Secretary of the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT).
In an announcement on Monday, Mr. Biden said former NYC Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg will serve as the Deputy to USDOT secretary nominee Pete Buttigieg.
Trottenberg stepped down from her position in NYC in November having served as the Transportation Commissioner since 2014, where she led the 5,800-person agency that operates NYC’s transportation network of roadways, bridges, traffic and parking systems, the Staten Island Ferry, and extensive bicycle, pedestrian and public plaza infrastructure.
She previously served in the Obama-Biden administration as the Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy and Under Secretary for Policy at USDOT.
Additionally, she has also served on the staffs of three U.S. senators – Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), and Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY).
She is credited with overseeing the implementation of the Vision Zero (VZ) initiative which takes an aggressive regulatory approach with the goal of eliminating traffic fatalities and injuries.
Also, as part of the VZ plan, Trottenberg managed the installation of over 28 miles of protected bike lanes and 16.3 miles of new bus lanes just last year.
What Does it Mean for Trucking?
It’s no secret NYC has a hostile regulatory environment for truckers and trucking companies.
So much so, many truckers refuse to operate in the city.
Arthur Miller operates a transportation-specific law firm in Queens, and has been helping his clients deal with the hyper-regulatory environment there since 1995.
Miller responded to the news of Trottenberg’s appointment with mixed feelings.
“I think she has done more outreach to trucking than her predecessors, but her hands have been tied,” Miller told Transportation Nation Network (TNN). “She’s been open to discussions about how certain regulations affect us, but the end result is they always come back and squeeze us. The anti-trucking advocates have a lot of sway here.”
Miller said he thinks she understands the concerns trucking advocates have and that’s at least a start.
However, he also expressed another concern.
“She may support tolls,” Miller commented.
Trucking groups such as the American Trucking Associations (ATA) and the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) have been strong opponents of tolling around the nation.
Many trucking stakeholders are worried about the prospect that more tolling measures could be implemented under the Biden Administration.
TNN will continue to track new developments closely.