U.S. Department of Transportation
|Department of Transportation|
|Deputy Secretary:||John D. Porcari|
|Annual budget:||$122.5 billion (2012)|
|Total employed:||57,703 (2012)|
- 1 History
- 2 Structure
- 3 Issues
- 4 Controversies
- 5 Budget
- 6 Recent news
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
- 9 References
The department employs 57,703 employees. The operating budget for fiscal year 2012 was $122.5 billion. Among the agencies run by the department are the: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Federal Transportation Administration (FTA), Federal Highway Administration (FHA), Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Federal Highway Traffic Safety Administration (FHTSA), the Maritime Administration (MARAD) and more.
The Transportation Department was formed by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1966. Like the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Transportation Department has its roots based on the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Upon its formation, the department inherited agencies such as the Federal Aviation Administration and gained regulatory power over recent federally constructed roadways and railway programs. The following is a list of important dates throughout the history of the department:
- 1966: Department of Transportation formed by Public Law 89-670
- 1966: Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority (WMTA) formed
- 1967: Department of Transportation officially operational
- 1968: Federal motor vehicle standards come into effect
- 1970: Amtrak formed
- 1976: Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act passed, allowing "free zones" where railroads can raise and lower fares without federal review
- 1977: Mandates on automatic seatbelts or air bags reinstated starting in 1984
- 1981: 12,000 air traffic controllers go on strike; approximately 11,000 fired by President Reagan
- 1990: Smoking prohibited on domestic flights lasting fewer than six hours
- 1990: National System of Interstate and Defense Highways redesignated the Dwight D. Eisenhower System of Interstate and Defense Highways
- 2002: Transportation Security Administration formed then transferred to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
- 2007: Interstate 35 bridge across the Mississippi River collapsed
The Department of Transportation website states the mission:
|“||Serve the United States by ensuring a fast, safe, efficient, accessible and convenient transportation system that meets our vital national interests and enhances the quality of life of the American people, today and into the future.||”|
—Transportation Department, 
The current secretary of transportation is Anthony Foxx.
|Secretaries of Transportation Full History|
|Secretary of Transportation||Years in office||Nominated by||Confirmation vote|
|Alan Stephenson Boyd||1967-1969||Lyndon B. Johnson|
|John A. Volpe||1969-1973||Richard Nixon|
|Claude Brinegar||1973-1975||Richard Nixon|
|William Thaddeus Coleman, Jr.||1975-1977||Gerald Ford|
|Brock Adams||1977-1979||Jimmy Carter||N/A|
|Neil Goldschmidt||1979-1981||Jimmy Carter||83-0|
|Drew Lewis||1981-1983||Ronald Reagan||98-0|
|Elizabeth Dole||1983-1987||Ronald Reagan||97-0|
|James H. Burnley IV||1987-1989||Ronald Reagan||74-0|
|Samuel K. Skinner||1989-1991||George H.W. Bush||100-0|
|Andrew Card||1992-1993||George H.W. Bush||N/A|
|Federico Pena||1993-1997||Bill Clinton||N/A|
|Rodney Slater||1997-2001||Bill Clinton||98-0|
|Norman Mineta||2001-2006||George W. Bush||100-0|
|Mary Peters||2006-2009||George W. Bush||N/A|
|Ry LaHood||2009-2013||Barack Obama||N/A|
|Anthony Foxx||2013-Present||Barack Obama||N/A|
Note: Votes marked "N/A" represent voice votes or unrecorded votes. Missing votes will be added as they are researched.
Office of the Secretary of Transportation
According to the department's official website, the Office of the Secretary:
- Oversees national transportation policies
- Negotiates and implements international transportation policies
- Regulates United States airlines
- Issues preventative regulations in transportation policy in regard to drug and alcohol abuse.
30-year transportation outlook
Secretary Anthony Foxx announced the development of a 30-year transportation outlook by DOT officials on September 7, 2014, in an effort to distance the country from the Highway Trust Fund, which gave federal fuel taxation money to state transportation departments for highway construction and maintenance. Foxx said, "We’re having the wrong conversation about transportation in this country. There are a host of factors that are colliding, that are changing the ground underneath us. But yet our policies, not to mention our funding, aren’t keeping up. I think it’s very important for us to have a new reset." He explained further, the goal of the research, "My hope is that people will take a look at this, and some of the unexamined assumptions we’ve had about transportation in the last couple of decades will start to be examined, and policymakers hopefully will understand we can’t just concern ourselves with the funding side of the equation, that how that funding is actually deployed is a key piece of how we move forward."
On September 12, 2014, the DOT awarded grants for the completions of 72 infrastructure projects across the country for a total of $600 million. The projects covered 46 states and Washington, D.C.. Secretary Foxx stated that the program, passed by Congress in 2009, would have offered more had members agreed to a new highway bill. He claimed, "For every project we select, however, we must turn dozens more away — projects that could be getting done if Congress passed the GROW AMERICA Act, which would double the funding available for TIGER and growing the number of projects we could support."
Crude oil lawsuit
Green energy groups Sierra Club, ForestEthics and Earthjustice filed a lawsuit on September 11, 2014, against the Department of Transportation over the department's use of older rail cars to transport crude oil around the country. The groups filed a legal petition in July 2014, in an attempt to get the department's attention, but no action was taken, resulting in the lawsuit. The department changed rules, forcing companies to switch to newer rail models, but the rules allow three to six years before full implementation, a timeline that the groups found unacceptable. An Earthjustice attorney stated, "The Department of Transportation agrees these tank cars create an unacceptable public risk and need to be banned for shipping Bakken crude oil. But the department proposes to expose the public to these unacceptable risks for four more years. We can’t run the risk of another disaster like Lac-Mégantic, Quebec when 47 people died in a DOT-111 crude oil explosion.
The Department of Transportation had a budget of $122.5 billion for the fiscal year 2012. The Department's request for fiscal year 2013 was $74.4 billion, a 39.3% decrease. The 2012 budget included $50 billion for infrastructure repairs that was not included in the 2011 or 2013 budgets.
The Best Places to work in the Federal Government is a website that tracks workforce trends in federal agencies. According to their analysis, from 2008-2012, the Department of Transportation has lost an average of 896 jobs per year.
Secretary Ray LaHood stated on February 22, 2013, that the department needed to cut nearly $1 billion which would include furloughs for all FAA employees amounting to one day per pay period.
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term U.S. + Department + Transportation
- All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.
- Official Department of Transportation website
- Department of Transportation blog
- Official Facebook page
- Official Twitter page
- Official Youtube channel
- U.S. Department of Transportation, "About DOT," accessed December 31, 2013
- Department of Transportation, "Budget Highlights: Fiscal Year 2013," accessed December 31, 2013
- Washington Post, "Transportation Department," accessed January 2, 2014
- U.S Department of Transportation, "Office of the Historian," accessed January 2, 2014
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- U.S. Department of Transportation, "Office of the Secretary," accessed December 31, 2013
- Politico, "Anthony Foxx takes a futurist turn at the Department of Transportation," September 7, 2014
- The Hill, "Feds award $600M in transportation grants," September 12, 2014
- The Hill, "Green groups sue DOT over crude oil trains," September 11, 2014
- Best Places to Work in the Federal Government, "Department of Transportation," accessed December 31, 2013
- Department of Transportation, "Statement on Sequestration, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, 22 February 2013," February 22, 2013