Biden to nominate Buttigieg for Transportation Secretary

Pete Buttigieg

President-elect Joe Biden announced on Wednesday that he would nominate South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg to serve as Secretary of Transportation when Biden assumes office in January.

“Mayor @PeteButtigieg is a leader, patriot, and problem-solver. He speaks to the best of who we are as a nation. I am nominating him for Secretary of Transportation because he’s equipped to take on the challenges at the intersection of jobs, infrastructure, equity, and climate,” Biden tweeted.

The move was applauded by many.

U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR), chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, said he was pleased with the nomination.

“Pete Buttigieg is a strong choice to lead the Biden administration’s efforts to ‘Build Back Better’ with infrastructure plans that not only move our country into the modern era but also generate the economic activity that this country so badly needs right now to pull us out of economic recession,” DeFazio said.

DeFazio noted Buttigieg’s transportation initiatives as mayor, including his efforts to apply Complete Street principles to downtown South Bend, making roads safer for pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers.

“As a presidential candidate, Pete’s infrastructure proposal for the country not only focused on fixing our existing roads and bridges but also investing in the national passenger rail network, boosting public transportation and investing in rural communities, all while putting an emphasis on 21st century needs such as broadband internet and electric vehicle infrastructure,” DeFazio continued. “The bottom line is with a forward-looking leader at DOT, our Nation has an incredible opportunity to create jobs, support U.S. manufacturing, reduce carbon pollution from the transportation sector, and create safer, more efficient infrastructure by investing in transportation.”

The American Public Transportation Association additionally stated its support of the nomination.

“President-elect Biden has selected an outstanding nominee as Mayor Buttigieg brings a wealth of knowledge to DOT and will be a strong leader for the Department. As Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, he worked closely with the South Bend Public Transportation Corporation during his two terms and understands the power of public transportation in meeting the social and economic needs of communities. His tenure as Mayor saw an emphasis on a complete streets approach and green transportation initiatives and, as a 2020 Presidential candidate, Buttigieg outlined an infrastructure plan centered on a ‘Vision Zero’ policy and the need to address the immense public transit state-of-good-repair backlog facing the nation.”

The Rail Passengers Association also applauded Buttigieg’s nomination.

“Mayors are the frontline officials in the campaign to rebuild U.S. infrastructure,” Rail Passengers President and CEO Jim Mathews said. “As a small-town mayor—and, more specifically, as an Amtrak mayor—Buttigieg will understand the challenges that come with keeping people physically connected to economic opportunity, the inadequacies of existing federal transportation programs, and the unacceptable timelines for review that delay far too many projects. We look forward to working with the incoming secretary on fixing those problems and connecting all Americans to a growing passenger rail network—whether they live on Wall Street or Main Street.”