The San Francisco Bay Area Metropolitan Transportation Commission chief Steve Heminger is widely being discussed as a contender for transportation secretary in the Barack Obama administration.
Heminger’s profile is limited largely to the transportation world but he has made friends in high places. He helped lead a commission created by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and runs what is considered one of the most progressive metropolitan transportation organizations in the nation.
Heminger is said to be interested in the post, and his advocates are working to put him face-to-face with the Obama transition team.
Traffic World reports that rumors center around “Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell as well as members of Congress such as House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman James L. Oberstar and two Oregon Democratic congressmen, Pete DeFazio and Earl Blumenauer.”
Other names on the potential secretary list include former FAA directorJane Garvey under the Clinton administration.
But Traffic World also wrote:
“Transportation industry executives close to the Obama campaign, speaking on condition of anonymity, say it is more likely, however, that the incoming administration will seek to put a new stamp on the department through new appointments less familiar to Washington’s political establishment.
There is a wide array of transportation officials at the state and local level who could have a role at the top of DOT or in agency posts, including Steve Heminger, executive director of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission in the San Francisco Bay area, and New York City Transportation Commissioner Jeanette Sadik-Khan.
During his eight years at the commission, he has developed a friendship with San Francisco’s Nancy Pelosi , the Speaker of the House, who named him to a congressional commission that recently unveiled a raft of proposals for altering transportation policy in the next decade — the most controversial being an increase of as much as 40 cents during the next five years in the federal gasoline tax, which is now 18.4 cents a gallon. His commission work and congressional connections could give him a leg up as an Obama administration ponders big changes to surface transportation policy.
Transportation The Hill reports, “For Transportation secretary, Obama may tap Steve Heminger, who is the executive director on the San Francisco Bay Area’s Metropolitan Transportation Commission.”