On the news of Senator Frank Lautenberg’s (D-NJ) passing this morning, Transportation for America director James Corless released the following statement.
Our condolences go out to the family, friends and colleagues of Senator Frank Lautenberg as they mourn the loss of a man who had served his country in almost every way possible, from humble beginnings in Paterson, New Jersey, to brave service in World War II, to decades as a businessman, and to almost 30 years of service in the United States Senate.
From his tireless advocacy for our nation’s passenger rail system, to safety and comfort for travelers on planes, trains and automobiles, and his recent work as a champion for a more performance-based multimodal transportation system, Senator Lautenberg’s impact on transportation policy is hard to overstate.
In the last transportation reauthorization discussions, he was the strongest voice for creating a holistic national freight policy to ensure that ports and freight systems can make multimodal investments to move goods more efficiently. And before the last transportation law ever expired, he began promoting performance measures and stronger accountability in the new law as a way to ensure that billions of transportation dollars would be well spent and result in a system that’s safer, cleaner, and more efficient. Portions of his freight policies were incorporated into MAP-21 last summer, a bill that also began the transition toward a performance-based 21st century transportation system.
Whether riding an Amtrak train or enjoying a smoke-free trip on an airplane, just to name a few, millions of Americans enjoy the fruit of his service. He will be missed, but his legacy as an advocate for a multimodal transportation system that works to better move goods and people is secure.