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December 28, 2021 3:45 PM, EST

Secretary Buttigieg to Headline 2022 TRB Conference

Pete Buttigieg Buttigieg by Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg News

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Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is scheduled to deliver keynote remarks at the upcoming annual conference of the Transportation Research Board, which will be held Jan. 9-13.

The secretary, assigned to President Joe Biden’s supply chain crisis response team, will address TRB attendees on Jan. 12.

In recent weeks, Buttigieg has visited key freight and commuter corridors around the country to promote the White House’s enactment of a $1 trillion infrastructure legislative package. Most recently, the secretary announced more than $241 million in federal grants for 25 port projects.

The grants targeted facilities in 19 states as part of the administration’s port action plan meant to facilitate supply chain connectivity.

“U.S. maritime ports play a critical role in our supply chains,” said the secretary. “These investments in our nation’s ports will help support American jobs, efficient and resilient operations, and faster delivery of goods to the American people.”

Since the enactment of the $1 trillion infrastructure law, Buttigieg, along with fellow Cabinet secretaries and senior White House officials, has touted its potential for improving connectivity throughout freight and commuter corridors. The secretary spoke with reporters at the White House about the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act shortly before its enactment on Nov. 15: “This is the largest investment in roads, bridges and highways since the creation of the interstate highway system, including the largest investment in our bridges ever so that we can avoid devastating closures and disruptive collapses like we’ve seen.”

The secretary continued, “It’s also the largest investment in public transit ever, with funding that will expand service to communities of all sizes, including improvements for seniors and for people with disabilities. It’s going to replace thousands of outdated buses with clean, zero-emission vehicles and aging railcars with state-of-the-art new ones.”

In addition to Buttigieg, Biden administration officials and industry stakeholders are scheduled to update TRB attendees on matters pertaining to climate change resilience, automation, sustainability, equity and complete streets concepts for urban and rural corridors.

At the conference, Deputy Transportation Secretary Polly Trottenberg is scheduled to speak about the ongoing policy implementation of the $1 trillion infrastructure law. Federal Railroad Administration chief counsel Allison Fultz will address audiences about human trafficking prevention programs, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Chief of Civil Works Engineering Vanessa Bateman will offer updates about engineering geology.

Trottenberg

Trottenberg

The conference also will feature lectures and workshops on public transportation, airport electrification and automation, telework, freight rail, railway asset management, artificial intelligence, freight mobility, walkability designs, and cycling safety. Notably, a panel discussion scheduled for Jan. 11 will address agriculture and food supply chain concerns. Panelists for that session will include Adam Sparger with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Bruce Lambert with the Maritime Administration.

The annual TRB meeting will be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington. “Innovating an Equitable, Resilient, Sustainable and Safe Transportation System” is this year’s guiding theme.

“The meeting program covers all transportation modes, with sessions and workshops addressing topics of interest to policymakers, administrators, practitioners, researchers, and representatives of government, industry, and academic institutions,” according to the event’s organizers. “A number of sessions and workshops will focus on the spotlight theme for the 2022 meeting.”

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