The new Secretary of Transportation will face three main challenges in the coming years:
- Infrastructure. As those of us who use our transportation system are keenly aware, we haven’t been keeping pace with our transportation infrastructure needs over the past several decades, and we have a severe funding deficit. Elaine Chao, at her confirmation hearings, promised to set up a task force to explore options for investing in our infrastructure through both private sources and public funding.
- Safety. As the Department of Transportation always says, “Safety is this country’s North Star.” As we introduce new technologies, we need to find ways to ensure that they can be safe for the users in the system. We also need to protect privacy, ensure cybersecurity, and determine the appropriate role of federal and state engagement with respect to legal roles and responsibilities.
- Energy and Sustainability. Just this year, transportation took the lead as the most significant source of emissions from energy consumption in this country. Saving energy is good for business. It’s good for consumers, and it’s good for the environment. Saving money on energy also allows us to invest in other sources.