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US DOT Secretary Foxx Appoints NARP President and CEO to National Advisory Committee Created by FAST Act

November 21, 2016

Release #16-23

For Immediate Release (#16-23)

Contact: Robert Brady – (202) 680-4951

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony R. Foxx appointed National Association of Railroad Passengers (NARP) President and CEO Jim Mathews to serve on the U.S. Transportation Dept.’s newly commissioned National Advisory Committee on Travel and Tourism Infrastructure (NACTTI). Mathews will provide the committee insight on how passenger trains drive tourism and economic growth, and how rail development can produce a more efficient transportation system.

“It is a great honor to be given the chance to serve on this Committee as a voice for passengers,” said Mathews, who is the only rail industry executive on the 25-member committee. “I anticipate that NACTTI will help tackle the enormous challenges we face in rebuilding our aging transportation infrastructure to connect America with multiple travel modes, to create jobs, and to foster economic growth everywhere in America, including ‘flyover country.’”

The NACTTI, created by the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, brings together some of the nation’s top transportation and tourism experts from both private and public sectors.

Signed into law in December 2015 by President Obama after passing with overwhelming majorities in Congress, the FAST Act provides long-term funding for transportation infrastructure and transit projects in rail, buses, aviation and more. As a result, the NACTTI was created to provide advice and recommendations to the Secretary of Transportation on infrastructure pertaining to travel and tourism within the United States.

As a newly appointed representative to the NACTTI, Mathews will serve two years from the date of his appointment. As a member of the NACTTI with expertise in passenger rail service, Mathews will aid in the development of a wide umbrella of responsibilities to assist in expanding the U.S.’s travel and tourism industries, such as:

  • Promote the sharing of information between the private and public sectors on transportation issues impacting travel and tourism;
  • Provide for development of measures of condition, safety, and performance for transportation related to travel and tourism;
  • And gather information, develop technical advice, and make recommendations to the Secretary on policies that improve the condition and performance of an integrated national transportation system.

Additional information on the responsibility of the committee can be found at the U.S. Department of Transportation’s website.

The NACTTI will hold their first meetings on December 8-9, 2016 at the Federal Aviation Administration headquarters, where members will discuss the current condition of the transportation and tourism industries. Other transportation and tourism experts joining Mathews on the Committee include:

  • Chair: Rossi Ralenkotter, President & CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority
  • Vice Chair: The Honorable Mark Begich, President & CEO of the Northern Compass Group, LLC.

“I look forward to meeting with all NACTTI members for a thorough and insightful discussion surrounding transportation and tourism,” Mathews added.

The National Association of Railroad Passengers, a non-profit organization, works diligently to promote the use of passenger rail travel nationwide and to modernize rail infrastructure as a vital part of America’s economic strength. NARP’s continued dedication to expanding and developing the use of America’s railroads illustrates its commitment to the NACTTI and the efforts of the Secretary of Transportation.

About the National Association of Railroad Passengers

NARP is the only national organization speaking for the nearly 40 million users of passenger trains and rail transit. We have worked since 1967 to expand the quality and quantity of passenger rail in the U.S. We believe that as we build our future, all transportation modes (road, air, water and rail) must work together in balance, doing what each mode does best while moving people, goods and ideas seamlessly together across our states and regions using rail as the most efficient and cost-effective way to tie modes together. Our mission is to work towards a modern, customer-focused national passenger train network that provides a travel choice Americans want. Our work is supported by more than 28,000 individual members nationwide.