President Barack Obama recently nominated Anthony Foxx, mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina, to serve as the new secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). The agency has been awaiting a new appointment since outgoing transportation secretary Ray LaHood announced he would not serve a second term earlier this year.
The appointment would put Foxx at the center of a department that has been under close scrutiny, especially since sequester-related spending cuts kicked in and have started to have a noticeable impact on the transportation industry.
Foxx tackled transportation projects while mayor
While Foxx, an attorney, lacks an extensive background in the transportation industry, he served as Deputy General Counsel for DesignLine Corporation, a maker of hybrid electric buses. In addition, he has held Washington-based posts in the U.S Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, a division of the U.S. Department of Justice and as staff counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on the Judiciary. As mayor he worked on projects that gave him exposure to some areas of the transportation industry. According to The New York Times, in the past several years, he oversaw the widening of a major highway, improved a major bridge and devoted time to improving Charlotte's infrastructure. In addition to these projects that focused on roads, he also extended a light-rail line, helped open an additional runway at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport and revived Charlotte's streetcar program.
If Foxx's nomination is confirmed, he will be responsible for ensuring the nation's transportation infrastructure is optimized and helping companies move freight across the country. However, with current gridlock and partisanship prevalent in Washington, new proposals could face a struggle. Companies that make the best use of route planning software in the coming months may be able to ensure pickups and deliveries aren't hindered by DOT holdups . Using private fleet software may ensure drivers are making the best use of their time, despite potential federal disagreements about budgets, highway funding and infrastructure plans.