President Barack Obama's choice of Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx to be the next U.S. Transportation secretary on Monday is creating buzz in Washington D.C. and elsewhere.
Foxx appears to be a popular choice for many groups. As mayor of Charlotte, "The Queen City," he was known for his balanced approach to transportation - supporting everything from bicycle transportation to expansion at the massive Charlotte air hub.
He's also a big supporter of public transportation. At Charlotte's helm, he was instrumental in championing a light rail network to bring commuter from the suburbs to downtown.
The online Washington D.C. publication, "The Hill," which covers news affecting the national government, has an interesting article about how public transit and bicycle transportation advocates have positive thoughts about Foxx's selection for U.S. DOT Secretary.
Agents may read that story here: http://thehill.com/blogs/transportation-report/public-transit/296757-transit-bicycle-group-see-win-in-foxx-dot-appointment#ixzz2RxXE1GFQ.
Separately, the Travel Technology Association (Travel Tech) said in a statement that Foxx's experience in executive decision-making would help the department reach effective outcomes on a number of important issues facing airline consumers. It noted that "as the mayor of a large metropolitan city that hosts one of the busiest airline hubs in the U.S., Mayor Foxx undoubtedly knows the importance of air transportation."
Travel Tech represents online travel companies and global distribution systems; members include Amadeus, Expedia, Orbitz Worldwide, Priceline, Sabre, Travelport and Vegas.com.
Foxx understands business but also believes in consumer input. "He also knows that consumer interests must have a seat at the table, as Charlotte residents for years have faced how to find a balance to the higher fares and limited competition that often characterizes a hub-city with only one dominant carrier," according to Simon Gros, Travel Tech's chairman.
"As the airline industry continues to consolidate, consumers will need the new secretary's leadership to make sure they retain their voice on issues like the proposed airline consumer protection rulemaking on ancillary fee transparency and transactability, and the IATA Resolution 787 proposal which could dramatically change the open marketplace for airline fare shopping," said Gros.
In another statement on Foxx's selection, Bob Darbelnet, CEO and president, American Automobile Association (AAA), said: “AAA is encouraged by President Obama’s nomination of Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx to be the new U.S. Secretary of Transportation. We look forward to working with Mayor Foxx once confirmed by the U.S. Senate."
Darbelnet said his organization is hopeful that Foxx will help make transportation a top national priority. That said, "Mayor Foxx will face many challenges because the nation must address a significant transportation funding shortfall, and there are still too many Americans losing their lives on the nation’s roadways," Darbelnet added.
AAA's statement also praised retiring secretary Ray LaHood’s "unwavering commitment and bipartisanship in achieving national transportation goals," such as his efforts to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving. LaHood also worked with AAA and other groups toward a national goal of zero traffic deaths.
LaHood's bipartisan efforts also helped achieve passage of a multi-year transportation bill, MAP-21, which AAA said included significant program reform and added funds for transportation.
And in Charlotte, where Foxx has served as mayor, The Charlotte Observer wrote an editorial that wished him well and generally acknowledged he'd done good things for the city.
But it also pointed out he's headed to Washington D.C. with little experience in managing massive highway and roadway system projects that tend to gobble up much of the DOT's annual budget.
Agents may read that insightful editorial here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/04/29/4011606/for-anthony-foxx-a-new-road-to.html#storylink=cpy.
The newspaper's commentary provided one bright thought for those tired of the quagmire that is Washington D.C. politics or weary of lurid headlines focusing on misconduct by government and elected officials.
The newspaper wrote: "We wish Anthony Foxx well and know that at the very least, he’ll give Washington something it needs more of – a smart, honest and decent man."