President-elect Trump has nominated former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao as U.S. secretary of transportation. The appointment is subject to Senate confirmation.

Earlier, there was considerable speculation that Republican Congressman Lou Barletta would be tapped for transportation, but instead he and Trump discussed the labor secretary post. Many of us who sit around the KTFC table were pulling for the congressman because of his efforts to persuade his colleagues to address federal transportation policy and funding needs.

In any event, transportation was among the very first issues brought up by Mr. Trump after the Nov. 8 election. While the details of his transportation investment initiative are not yet known, we certainly have room to hope that the initiative will address our coalition’s desire for an integrated, adequately funded, multi-modal national transportation system.

Transportation Issue Update

  • Former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao was nominated to serve in the Trump administration as secretary of transportation. Earlier speculation centered on PA Congressman Lou Barletta in that post, but instead he and Trump discussed nominating him to lead the Labor Department.
  • The state’s Autonomous Vehicles Testing Policy Task Force has delivered recommended guidance to PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards for developing policies to oversee testing of highly automated vehicles and has scheduled an online public forum for Dec. 12 to review the report. The report and instructions for submitting questions are available at the PennDOT website,
  • Carnegie Mellon University will receive a $14 million federal grant during the next five years to establish a National University Transportation Center, which will focus on safely and efficiently improving the mobility of people and goods in the 21st century.
  • PennDOT Secretary Richards received two international awards from Women in Business last month in New York City. She credited the nearly 12,000 PennDOT employees for their role in receiving recognition for Pennsylvania’s achievements.
  • Gov. Tom Wolf announced a $300 million capital investment program for the Port of Philadelphia, which will begin next year and continue through 2020, doubling container capacity and boosting jobs and the economy.
  • Our friends at the PA Motor Truck Association welcomed Governor Wolf’s signing of legislation that will reduce the truck inspection requirement of twice yearly to just once a year, as is the practice in most other states.