USDOT Head Pledges “Long and Fruitful Relationship” with TEN

Sec’y LaHood affirms support for Oahu Rail, greater transit access

HONOLULU, HI—On Saturday, Jan. 21, 2011, at the first of a series of One Nation Indivisible Transportation Summits, USDOT Secretary Ray LaHood hailed the work of the Transportation Equity Network (TEN) as “essential,” and anticipated a “long and fruitful relationship” with the network.

Secretary LaHood spoke via a video address to the participants of the two-day summit, which was hosted by TEN member Faith Action for Community Equity (FACE) in Honolulu, HI.

Secretary LaHood praised the Oahu Rail Transit project, as “outstanding” and “one of the best transit projects in America.” The Secretary affirmed the importance of mass transit as a way to “give people new choices  – or first chances – to get from home to school, to work, to the store, or to see family friends or a doctor.”

Full transcript below.

ABOUT: The Transportation Equity Network (TEN) is a grassroots network of more than 350 community organizations in 41 states working to build a more just, prosperous, and connected America. TEN is a project of the Gamaliel Foundation. Learn more at

CONTACT: Stephen Boykewich, TEN Media Director,, Mob. 917-686-2426


Transcript of Secretary LaHood’s video message to TEN and FACE

Sunday, Jan. 23, 2011

 Aloha, everyone.

I’m sorry I can’t be with you in person, but all of us at the United States Department of Transportation send our gratitude for your hard work and our wishes for a productive summit.

Last fall, I had the privilege of meeting with members of the Transportation Equity Network and I agreed that my DOT colleagues and I would participate in more meetings like this one.

The reason is simple: your work is essential. In a free society, transit is a pathway to economic opportunity. It’s more than the train, streetcar, subway, or motor coach that brings us from Point A to Point B. It’s the way we lead our lives and pursue our dreams. It gives people new choices – or first chances – to get from home to school, to work, to the store, or to see family friends or a doctor.

That’s why outstanding projects like Oahu Rail Transit – one of the best transit projects in America – deserve our continued support. That’s why we’ll maintain our focus on making transportation systems more accessible and more affordable at a time when transportation has become America’s second highest household expense. And that’s why I’m so pleased that FACE has put together this first annual equity summit to identify ways in which we can accelerate development of livable and sustainable communities.

My colleagues and I look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with the Transportation Equity Network and we thank you for your leadership, advocacy, and partnership.

Enjoy and have a great meeting.