Transpo Week Ahead

Here’s what’s going on in my little corner of the transpo world this week:


  • House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee hearing reviewing the preparedness, response and recovery from Hurricane Sandy. The 10 a.m. hearing will feature testimony from representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. A background memoon the hearing is also available.

    Polly Trottenberg, acting Under Secretary of Transportation Policy at DOT, is one of the nominees being considered at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing on Tuesday. Credit:

  • The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation is having a 2:30 nomination hearing. Nominees include Polly Trottenberg, to be Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy, DOT; Christopher R. Beall, to be on the Amtrak Board of Directors; and Yvonne B. Burke, to be on the Amtrak Board of Directors.
    • Last week at a House T&I hearing on Amtrak, committee chairman John Mica (R-Fla.) noted that the nominations to fill the remaining two spots on Amtrak’s board of directors could be linked to a series of hearings (there will be six total by the end of the term) the House committee has held on passenger rail. “Sometimes it takes a hearing to get action, whether it’s implementation of a strategic plan or highlighting that a board needs to be filled,” Mica said. My story on last week’s Amtrak hearing is available at BGov and BNA’s Daily Report for Executives (subscription required).


  • Last votes for the week in the House expected around 3:00. Might be able to find out details about subcommittee chairmen for the House T&I Committee in the 113th Congress
  • Outgoing House Transportation Committee Chairman John Mica will have his official portrait hanging ceremony at 12.



DOT Secretary Ray LaHood is expected to testify at a House hearing on high-speed rail Dec. 4.(Very slim) possibility he might talk to reporters after about his plans to stay or leave DOT. (Official photo)

  • The House T&I Committee holds a 9:30 hearing on high-speed intercity passenger rail. This is the fifth in a six-part series on Amtrak/passenger rail. Past hearings focused on Amtrak’s food and beverage service, the company’s role in commuter rail, federal subsidies for the train service, and progress made since the company instituted a strategic plan in Oct. 2011 (all links require BNA subscription).
    • DOT Secretary Ray LaHood will testify. It might be a good time to ask him about his plans to remain secretary or leave the post early next year (although I suspect he will remain mum on the topic)
    • The final committee hearing in the series will be Dec. 13 and will focus on the Northeast Corridor.
  • The Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Surface Transportation will hold a 10:30 hearing on the impact of Hurricane Sandy on transportation systems in the Northeast. Transit systems in New York and New Jersey were hit hard as a result of Sandy with several tunnel flood, tracks littered with debris and electrical systems ruined.
    • Some big names in transportation are testifying including DOT Deputy Secretary John Porcari, the president of Amtrak, and the chiefs of transit operations in New York and New Jersey. In addition, Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand for New York and Sen. Robert Menendez from New Jersey will testify.




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