ICYMI: Secretary Buttigieg Travels to South Florida, Gives Major Speech on State of Transportation, Highlights Investments Made Possible by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

USDOT
5 min readOct 20, 2023

Washington, DC — This week, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg traveled to South Florida to share an update on the state of transportation and highlight major investments in the Sunshine State made possible by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Secretary Buttigieg began his trip meeting with the small business community about the Department of Transportation’s new Access to Capital initiative that will enable more businesses to take part in the implementation of projects funded by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Secretary Buttigieg participates in a fireside chat with small business investors

The Secretary then headed to the Forum Club of the Palm Beaches to share an update on the State of Transportation in the United States with over 700 community members. He highlighted the exciting investments in transportation and infrastructure that are happening throughout Florida and across the entire nation thanks to the Infrastructure Law. Listen to Secretary Buttigieg’s remarks here.

Secretary Buttigieg speaks at the Forum Club

After speaking about improvements to our transportation and infrastructure, Secretary Buttigieg went to see an example of this new transportation for himself. He visited the Brightline rail station in West Palm Beach, before taking the train to Fort Lauderdale. Secretary Buttigieg met with Brightline workers, riders, and leadership and heard about the development of their new high-speed rail system, which has benefitted from funding from the infrastructure law to improve at-grade crossing safety.

Secretary Buttigieg speaks with Brightline workers
Secretary Buttigieg aboard a Brightline train traveling from West Palm Beach to Fort Lauderdale

Secretary Buttigieg began his second day in South Florida at PortMiami where he had a chance to see the on-dock rail infrastructure that will be getting much-needed upgrades to improve supply chain efficiency thanks to two grants from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. He then hosted a news conference alongside Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava where he highlighted these improvements to supply chain efficiency which will help to bring down costs and spoke about the importance of building resilient infrastructure.

Secretary Buttigieg speaks at the PortMiami

After the events at the port, the Secretary had the opportunity to speak with some of the folks who keep our transportation systems running. He sat down with SEIU, CWA, and UNITE HERE workers from Miami International Airport and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport to hear about their experiences.

Secretary Buttigieg speaks with union workers

Before leaving Florida, Secretary Buttigieg and Mayor Cava met with Miami International Airport Director Ralph Cutié. They discussed progress on ongoing projects at the airport that have been made possible by the Infrastructure Law, like the $11.9 million award from USDOT’s Airport Infrastructure Grants that will go towards terminal improvements.

See below to see what they’re saying about the Secretary’s visit:

Sun Sentinel: Buttigieg uses Brightline ride to highlight U.S. dollars for South Florida transportation

“Buttigieg said the Biden Administration is focusing on safety, enhancing economic power and equity for the public, innovation, and coping with climate change.”

WPBF: Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg stops by West Palm Beach to discuss infrastructure, hops on Brightline

“A $15 million grant for this stretch is going to improve some of the physical infrastructure in ways that will have safety benefits,” Buttigieg said. “Making sure, for example, that the crossings are as safe as they can possibly be… Americans are dealing with a lot right now in terms of prices,” he said. “And we also know more generally, where we make good investments on the public side, on public infrastructure, that contributes to affordability as a part of the fight against inflation.”

WLRN South Florida: U.S: Transportation secretary touts Biden’s infrastructure investments on South Florida trip

“We’re only in the second year of the five year life of President Biden’s infrastructure law and we’re making the most of every one of those programs and a lot of that benefit is coming right to this area,” Buttigieg said during his time in Fort Lauderdale.

NBC Miami 6: U.S. Transportation chief Pete Buttigieg takes Brightline tour

WPTV West Palm Beach News 5: Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg touts infrastructure, rides Brightline during Palm Beach County visit

“We’re putting our money where our mouth is with federal dollars going to physical infrastructure improvements that are going to help with safety,” Buttigieg said. “A lot of the issue has to do with incursions on the track from pedestrians or vehicles, so anything we can do to head that off is a natural place to begin.”

WQCS-NPR: USDOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg Takes a Ride on Brightline

“Transportation is such an important part of our daily routines,” said Secretary Buttigieg. “This is a bright area of America moving forward for high-speed rail. We should have the best rail in the world, and there is no cosmic reason why a US citizen can’t have access to high-speed rail like those found in countries like Japan and Germany.”

WPEC-CBS: Buttigieg on Brightline: U.S. Secretary of Transportation highlights federal investments in West Palm Beach

“We’re certainly always going to have an open mind about applications that come in for us to provide funding. What we’re doing right now is restore routes that have been lost and support routes that never existed. We’ll have many chances to do all three,” Buttigieg said.

Telemundo 51: Secretario de Transporte de EEUU visita el sur de Florida

The Palm Beach Post: Pete Buttigieg in West Palm Beach rides Brightline and pledges federal funds for safety

“We’re an administration led by a president who passionately believes in passenger rail. It has economic benefits and climate benefits, safety benefits, and I want to see that for myself,” Buttigieg said, in front of the West Palm Beach station.

Miami Herald: Miami-Dade mayor keeps Metrorail top-of-mind for U.S. Transportation Secretary in Miami

News 4 CBS Miami: US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg toured PortMiami

Key Biscayne Independent: In Miami, Buttigieg says Rickenbacker might be eligible for new federal dollars

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, who joined several other officials in praising Buttiegieg as the “most powerful” transportation secretary ever, said the Rickenbacker would be a topic in private conversations.

Transport Topics: Buttigieg Promotes Grants to Boost Miami Port’s Supply Chain

“She noted that Buttigieg had toured the port to witness the impact of federal infrastructure grants. ‘It’s amazing to watch how that money really does make a big difference,’ Webb added.”

Local 10: PortMiami receives over $16M in funding to help modernize cargo operations

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