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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

Foxx sworn in as 17th U.S. transportation secretary

Anthony Foxx was sworn in yesterday as the nation's 17th secretary of transportation by Judge Nathaniel Jones in a private ceremony at the U.S. Department of Transportation's (USDOT) headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Foxx spent his first full day meeting department employees and holding meetings on issues facing the department, including transportation safety and hurricane and severe weather preparedness, USDOT officials said in a press release.

In his first post on the USDOT's "Fast Lane" blog, Foxx outlined his goals.

"I plan to focus on three key areas, the first of which should come as no surprise to anyone who knows this department: safety. As it has been for Secretary [Ray] LaHood, the dedicated DOT workforce and DOT's many partners and stakeholders, ensuring that America's transportation system is the safest in the world will be my top priority," Foxx wrote.

He also plans to focus on improving the efficiency and performance of the nation's existing transportation system, as well as developing innovative solutions for the future transportation system.

As transportation secretary, Foxx will lead an agency with more than 55,000 employees and a $70 billion budget.

Prior to his confirmation, Foxx served as mayor of Charlotte, N.C., form 2009 to 2013. During that time, he made transportation investments the centerpiece of Charlotte's job creation and economic recovery efforts. The investments included extending the city's LYNX light-rail system and starting the Charlotte Streetcar project.

Meanwhile, in one of his final acts as secretary, LaHood addressed participants of the WTS International's Transportation YOU program for girls 13 to 18 years old who are interested in future careers in transportation. LaHood helped establish the program during his tenure. He spoke to a group of 15 young women who were visiting USDOT administrators to learn more about the transportation industry.

"While [LaHood] has been leading the charge to keep America's transportation structure operating, he's also been working and partnering with organizations like WTS with an eye on the future," said WTS President and Chief Executive Officer Marcia Ferranto.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/3/2013