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In a unanimous vote held yesterday, the U.S. Senate confirmed Charlotte, N.C. Mayor Anthony Foxx as the next U.S. transportation secretary.Foxx will succeed Ray LaHood, who decided not to serve a full second term as secretary. "Anthony knows firsthand that investing in our roads, bridges and transit systems is vital to creating good jobs and ensuring American businesses can grow and compete in a 21st century global economy," said President Barack Obama in a prepared statement issued after the Senate vote. "I look forward to working with him as we aim to modernize the infrastructure that powers our economy."Foxx will play a pivotal role in providing critical federal investments for advancing intercity and high-speed passenger-rail projects, said Amtrak Chairman Tony Coscia and President and Chief Executive Officer Joseph Boardman in a joint statement."We also welcome Secretary Foxx to the Amtrak board of directors where he will help shape the future of America's railroad and further improve our record-breaking financial and operational performance," they said.Other rail and transportation industry officials also praised Foxx's confirmation:"As mayor of Charlotte, Mr. Foxx established a record that strengthened the transportation sector, and demonstrated his understanding that the nation needs a strong transportation network to create jobs. We look forward to working with him and ensuring America’s freight rail network remains the best in the world." — Association of American Railroads President and CEO Edward Hamberger"Foxx understands how critical it is for a city to have a multi-modal transportation network that includes a strong public transportation system. He knows the connection between transportation, jobs, economic growth and economic competitiveness." — American Public Transportation Association President and CEO Michael Melaniphy
"We are committed to partnering with Secretary Foxx to advance long overdue, large-scale investments in transportation that will improve quality of life, expand the economy, boost our competitiveness and put people back to work in a still slow economic recovery." — Transportation Trades Department AFL-CIO President Edward Wytkind"Secretary Foxx has been a strong defender of transportation safety and as mayor of Charlotte worked steadfastly at keeping pedestrian and driver safety at the forefront while meeting the growing demands for public transit, passenger and freight rail services. We trust that he will continue to champion safety at the national level, and we look forward to productive cooperation between Operation Lifesaver and the Department of Transportation." — Operation Lifesaver Inc. President Joyce RoseThrough his support of the Charlotte Regional Intermodal Facility, the Southeast High-Speed Rail corridor, Charlotte streetcar project, LYNX Blue Line light-rail system and 2030 Transit Corridor System Plan, "Secretary Foxx demonstrated an understanding of the crucial role that transportation plays in the economic vitality of this country, and particularly the critical role that both freight and passenger rail play as part of our multi-modal transportation system." — OneRail Coalition Director Anne Canby"As an industry association focused on shipper advocacy issues, NASSTRAC looks forward to working with Foxx and the DOT on supporting common-sense initiatives that improve our nation’s infrastructure, and reforms that enhance the safety and productivity of the transportation industry." — Mike Regan, chairman of the National Shippers Strategic Transportation Council’s advocacy committee