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USA: Secretary Ray LaHood Leaves an Indelible Mark

SAN JOSE, Calif., Feb. 5, 2013 — Mineta National Transit Research Consortium (MNTRC) is grateful for his dedication

SAN JOSE, Calif., Feb. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — As Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood announces his retirement, US Secretary of Transportation (ret.) Norman Y. Mineta and Rod Diridon, executive director of the nine-university Mineta National Transit Research Consortium (MNTRC), expressed admiration for the Secretary’s accomplishments.

Secretary Mineta, who founded the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI), said, “I’ve known Ray LaHood since 1977 when he became a staff assistant for then-Congressman Tom Railsback (R-IL), a good friend and colleague. Ray went on to become the chief of staff for the Republican leader, Bob Michel of Illinois. Ray distinguished himself as a Member of Congress, in his own right, as the successor to Leader Michel in his Congressional Seat. Ray focused especially on safety during his four-year tenure as Secretary of Transportation for President Obama. Consequently the country is at the safest levels in modern history in all modes of transportation through his dedicated efforts, visionary leadership and perseverance.”

Mr. Diridon added, “Secretary LaHood understands that geo-economic competition is won with advanced research and education programs, and he has championed the national University Transportation Centers. His farsighted leadership will be missed and difficult to replace.”

Secretary LaHood’s interest in students, as future transportation leaders, has been especially noteworthy. As an example, each of the past four years the Secretary addressed the students during MTI’s annual video-conferenced national Garrett Morgan Sustainable Transportation Competition for middle-schools. That hands-on interest for education, and all of the other US Department of Transportation activities, has been Secretary LaHood’s trademark and will be sincerely missed.

ABOUT THE MINETA NATIONAL TRANSIT RESEARCH CONSORTIUM (MNTRC): MNTRC conducts research, education, and information transfer programs, focusing on transportation policy and management issues relate to transit. The nine-university MNTRC, led by the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) at San Jose State University, won a very competitive national competition in 2011 that included over 300 US universities. The other eight MNTRC universities, from east to west, are: Rutgers, Howard, Bowling Green, Toledo, Grand Valley, Detroit Mercy, and Nevada Las Vegas. MNTRC is funded by Congress through the US DOT Research and Innovative Technology Administration, by state departments of transportation, and other public and private grants. For information, go to

ABOUT THE MINETA TRANSPORTATION INSTITUTE (MTI): MTI conducts research, education, and information transfer programs focusing on surface transportation policy and management issues, especially related to transit. MTI was established by Congress in 1991 as part of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act and won national redesignation competitions in 2002, 2006 and 2011. The Institute is funded by Congress through the US DOT Research and Innovative Technology Administration, by the California Legislature through Caltrans, and public and private grants. In 2006 the US Department of Homeland Security selected MTI as a National Transportation Security Center of Excellence. The internationally respected members of the MTI Board of Trustees represent all major surface transportation modes. Visit

Contact: Donna Maurillo MTI Communications Director 831-234-4009 donna.maurillo (at) sj


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