• DOT-FRA-RPD Passenger Train Friendly in Biden Administration

  • Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.
Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, mtuandrew, Tadman

  by Gilbert B Norman
 
It appears former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is frontrunner to be Joe's Sec Trans.

While Joe certainly knew Mr. Emanuel while he was CSWH in the Obama administration, it seems like an appointment for an "out of work politician".

I think he's a competent guy, but had he run for a third mayoral term, he would likely have lost.

But there is nothing in his record to suggest he is pro passenger rail - urban or intercity.

All told, I'm not expecting much during the Biden administration. Joe will serve one-term, if even that, and whose goal can at best be to "bring us together". If he is able to do that, then he will be remembered by historians as a "reasonably good" President.
  by eolesen
 
Rahm might be friendly to airlines. Particularly, seeing his rebuild of O'Hare completed... Plus, Josh Earnest is still a SVP for United.

Sent from my SM-G981U using Tapatalk

  by John_Perkowski
 
Rahm isn't there for the railroads. He's there to get a highway infrastructure act passed. That's the one genuinely acceptable jobs act Congress will buy every time.

Frankly, the Big 4 (UP, BH-BNSF, CSXT, NS) are in good economic shape. Even with COVID, they continue to churn out the carmiles every day.

Passenger railroading matters in the NEC, Chicago, Los Angeles, a bit around DC. The rest of the nation? Look at the numbers, as a percentage of travel between any two city pairs it serves, Amtrak has an infinitesimal share of the action.

Amtrak used to need LD to get 218+51+1, notsomuch anymore.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Joe seems to consider Rahm "toxic" owing to some "itchy trigger fingered cops" on his Mayoral watch.

There are reports that Mayor Pete, presently out of work, is the new SecTrans frontrunner. He should be an easy "confirm", but where is his transportation- any mode - experience?

Further, being out of office, means no issues with succession. Such issues are keeping Liz out of Joe's Cabinet, who I think he would like to have to show "reconciliation", but would result in a Senate vacncy that Republican Mass Gov. Patrick would fill with a Republican deepening the Senate's, from a Dem perspective, "imbalance".

Pete's smart, and a quick learner. But again given no transportation experience and from a State where away from its side of metropolitan Chicago, passenger rail, sponsoring agency notwithstanding, is simply a "non-entity".
  by Ridgefielder
 
Looks like it's Buttigieg. https://www.wsj.com/articles/biden-sele ... re_twitter
WSJ wrote:WASHINGTON—President-elect Joe Biden has selected former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, his former Democratic primary rival, to lead the Transportation Department, according to people familiar with the matter.
Net-net this is probably a marginal positive for Amtrak; I certainly don't think he's rabidly anti-rail.
  by Ridgefielder
 
"We've got decide whether we think it's OK for the greatest country in world to have inferior transportation when it comes to rail...Whether we're talking about Northeast Corridor or the bigger picture nationally..."
- Pete Buttigieg to @WSJ 02/16/20
Copy/pasted from Twitter so no story to which to link.
  by Arborwayfan
 
South Bend might actually be a great place to come from to be Secy of Transportation and to think about rail: It's got Amtrak and the NICTD and yet is not a place where most people take trains or transit a lot. And then it's got a lot of freight going through it by rail, too. And ports not so far away. Mayor Pete could be pretty well rounded on all of those modes and needs, and ready to talk public transportation to skeptics.

Plus he can read transportation articles and reports from half the world. :wink:
  by mtuandrew
 
Not exceptionally impressed by this pick on his own subject-specific credentials. Pete has a lot more ties to Silicon Valley tech entrepreneurs (read: Uber and Lyft) than he does successful transportation projects under his belt. I get that there’s a need to reward political surrogates, especially young & ambitious ones who aren’t in another office like Pete. I also think he will have some good department chairs, and will ideally choose wisely on projects to give the go-ahead... I just wish Biden would resist the urge to put political favors (even relatively benign ones) above experts.
  by David Benton
 
I don't think expertise in the subject you are in charge of is necessary , way more important is the ability to listen to the experts , and make impartial decisions based on advice and all informatiion
  by Pensyfan19
 
mtuandrew wrote: Tue Dec 15, 2020 3:52 pm Not exceptionally impressed by this pick on his own subject-specific credentials. Pete has a lot more ties to Silicon Valley tech entrepreneurs (read: Uber and Lyft) than he does successful transportation projects under his belt. I get that there’s a need to reward political surrogates, especially young & ambitious ones who aren’t in another office like Pete. I also think he will have some good department chairs, and will ideally choose wisely on projects to give the go-ahead... I just wish Biden would resist the urge to put political favors (even relatively benign ones) above experts.
Since Pete has these ties, then could it be possible that he could contact some of these entrepreneurs to run privately-owned routes or help fund intercity passenger service, similar to what Branson wanted to do with Virgin Trains USA?
  by STrRedWolf
 

(edit: well, embedding via just linking the URL works)