After a little more than two years as Transportation Secretary, I can confidently say that the best part has been working with the terrific and talented professionals of the Department of Transportation. I am so proud of everything we have achieved through their efforts in the last two years.
And last week, the achievements of two of DOT's finest, Anne Ferro, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator, and Therese McMillan, Federal Transit Deputy Administrator, were acknowledged with special awards. Administrator Ferro was recognized by the Traffic Club of Baltimore as their Transportation Person of the Year. And Deputy Administrator McMillan was selected for a Distinguished Alumni Award by the College of Environmental Design at the University of California, Berkeley.
In honoring Administrator Ferro, the Traffic Club of Baltimore said "Administrator Ferro is moving the Secretary of Transportation’s safety mission forward and raising the safety bar for the motor carrier industry."
And it is certainly true that no one at DOT is working harder to raise the safety bar for motor carriers. When the Traffic Club said that, "Administrator Ferro's vision is to eliminate severe crashes and fatalities involving large trucks and buses," they were 100 percent accurate.
"All of you have an opportunity to impact safety outcomes. Because truck safety is the last leg of the freight’s journey to its destination is influenced by how well safety is built further up the supply chain, at the shipping doc, at the port terminal, at the port gate."
In conferring their Distinguished Alumni Award to Deputy Administrator McMillan, the University of California recognized, "her steady advocacy for regional transportation planning, for transit expansion, and for integrating transportation and land use policy and investment through transit-oriented development."
Deputy Administrator McMillan began working toward those goals during 25 years with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), the regional transportation planning agency for the San Francisco Bay Area. And today, at FTA, she is leading our effort to build smarter, more livable communities that better connect people with the places they need to go.
Accepting her award, Deputy Administrator McMillan said, “It has been a privilege for me to serve the people of this nation by having a first-hand role in building and expanding the transportation infrastructure that is so critical to America’s continued economic vitality.”
To both these outstanding women, I would like to say that the privilege has been all ours; we are fortunate to have both of them on our team.