President-elect Joe Biden selected Pete Buttigieg, a former Democrat contender in the presidential primary as well as the ex-Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, as his nominee to be the new secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation.
“U.S. DOT is home to two agencies [the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration] that are very important partners in our mission to keep school buses the safest form of transportation to-and-from school for almost 26 million schoolchildren each day,” commented Curt Macysyn, the executive director of the National School Transportation Association, which represents the interests of private school bus contractors in Washington, D.C. “NSTA congratulates Secretary-designate Buttigieg on his impending nomination to this very important post, and we look forward to working with him and the department in the years ahead.”
The American Bus Association also congratulated Buttigieg.
“On behalf of ABA’s 4,000 motorcoach, group travel and tourism industry members and the 600 million passengers that rely on us for safe, affordable and accessible transportation, ABA looks forward to working with the new Congress, the Biden administration and the Department of Transportation to help rebuild our industry, which has been devasted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” the association said in a statement on Wednesday.
When running against Biden in the Democrat primary, Buttigieg pledged $1 trillion in spending over the next decade to address infrastructure. The plan said 6 million new jobs would be created.
Biden called for $1.3 trillion in spending through 2030 to fix the nation’s roads and highways. He also seeks net-zero greenhouse emissions, including a proposal created with Sen. Bernie Sanders to move the entire national fleet of school buses to electric over the next five years.
Congress has yet to pass a long-term infrastructure bill but did pass a one-year funding extension in September.
Related: School Bus Industry Seeks Share of New $908B Stimulus Plan
Related: NSTA Urges School Bus Contractors to Petition Governors for COVID-19 Vaccine
Related: Top Considerations for EV Batteries & Charging Infrastructure