Department of Transportation Duties

Nowadays, the Department of Transportation seems like a common entity that helps in the regulation of all aspects of transportation in the United States, but this wasn’t always the case. There was a point in history where there did not exist a regulating body that oversaw the transportation needs of the United States. Prior to the creation of the Department of Transportation in 1966, regulation came from the Under Secretary of Commerce for Transportation. It wasn’t until 1965, with the suggestion of then administrator of the FAA Najeeb Halaby, that the Department of Transportation was elevated to a cabinet level position during Lyndon B. Johnson’s tenure as President of the United States.

So which agencies fall under the jurisdiction of the Department of Transportation? Almost every agency and regulating body that has to deal with transportation, which include:

  • Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
  • Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
  • Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
  • Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)
  • Federal Transit Administration (FTA)
  • Maritime Administration (MARAD)
  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
  • Office of Inspector General (OIG)

And many more regulatory agencies As you can see, the Department of Transportation has its hands full. With the number of regulatory agencies and areas of the transportation industry to regulate, you can see why it needs to be diffused into smaller sub-sections of government.

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