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Obama's Transportation Transition Team Seeks TCA Input on Trucking Issues
Safety, infrastructure, and the environment were three of the topics that Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) representatives discussed last week with President-elect Barack Obama's Transportation Transition Team and current Department of Transportation (DOT) employees.
The purpose of the Nov. 24, 2008, meeting was to highlight issues confronting the trucking industry and to garner TCA's insights into the challenges facing DOT. Three TCA representatives participated: Chris Burruss, President; MacKinnon Transport Executive Director Ray Haight, chairman; and Jet Express President Kevin Burch, first vice chairman.
"We are proud that the Obama transition team invited us to the table as one of the industry's primary stakeholder associations. We had the opportunity to present our views on the vital issues of the day as well as the future," said Ray Haight.
He continued: "Although we were in harmony with the vast majority of the other industry groups at the table, we also articulated some of our concerns about the industry's current direction on productivity gains and the recent release of the hours-of-service (HOS) ruling."
Burch said he pressed the issue of safety during the meeting, as well as emphasized the importance of rebuilding bridges and highways. He told the Dayton Daily News that an Obama plan to spur new jobs by rebuilding crumbling infrastructure is considered a "win-win" for the trucking industry, and would help trucking businesses during tough economic times. "We are the rolling inventory, if you will," he told the Dayton Daily News. "No one has the extra capacity to just have goods sit."
Haight, Burch and Burruss believe that the topics they highlighted, both verbally and as one-page whitepapers prepared for the transition team's future reference, should be factored into the recommendations that will be made to the incoming Administration.
"Overall, we were impressed with the Obama team's desire to hear from us, and we hope this becomes the start of an ongoing communication flow that will continue throughout the new Administration's term in office," said Burruss.