Senate’s 30-Year Transit, Passenger Rail Advocate to Retire

Longtime Amtrak and transportation safety advocate Senator Frank Lautenberg will retire in 2015. Image – Office of Senator Lautenberg.

Longtime transportation advocate Senator Frank Lautenberg (New Jersey) announced he will retire when his term expires in 2015. Lautenberg is 89 and has been elected to the Senate five times. He is the Senate’s last member to have served during World War II.

Lautenberg is know in transportation circles for his staunch support for Amtrak and safety issues. Regarding the latter, Politico summarizes some of Lautenberg’s achievements:

“He authored the 1984 law that set the minimum drinking age at 21, and wrote another that banned so-called triple-trailer “killer” trucks. He sponsored the law that lowered the legal blood-alcohol limit to 0.08 percent. And he was instrumental in shaping the safety title for MAP-21, which included funding for teen driving and sobriety programs and improving the safety of motor coaches. He has also been intimately involved in combating human fatigue and strengthening hours-of-service requirements across modes of transportation.”

Lautenberg currently serves on all three of the Senate’s four transportation-related Committees:

  • Environment and Public Works

Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee

  • Commerce, Science and Transportation

Surface Transportation Subcommittee

Aviation Operations Subcommittee

  • Appropriations

Transportation and Housing Subcommittee