By a vote of 68-29, the Senate confirmed Amitabha ‘Amit’ Bose (seen above) to be the 15th administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration on Jan. 12. Bose, nominated by the Biden administration to be FRA’s deputy administrator in January 2021, is the first person of South-Asian descent to lead the rail agency.
[Above photo by the FRA]
“From his work with New Jersey Transit to his leadership at FRA during two administrations, Amit has spent his distinguished career supporting America’s railways,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg in a statement. “Amit’s experience and expertise will be invaluable.”
Bose will also oversee programs to improve and modernize the nation’s freight and passenger rail network by administering $66 billion worth of investment in rail projects funded by the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act signed into law November 2021.
An additional $36 billion in annual authorized appropriations over five years will supplement that $66 billion worth of investment, USDOT added, supporting projects and programs that improve safety, reliability, efficiency, resiliency, equity, and sustainability.
Where equity is concerned, FRA launched what it described as a “first-of-its-kind” nationwide “disparity study” of small, minority-owned, and woman-owned businesses in April 2021 – seeking to determine whether the playing field is level for firms aspiring to win subcontracts from projects receiving FRA grants.
“We are firmly committed to increasing equity across the American economy and ensuring that women and minority-owned businesses have a fair shot at contracting opportunities funded by federal dollars,” Bose explained at the time in a statement.
“Assessing the current extent of DBE [disadvantaged business enterprise] and WBE [woman business enterprise] inclusion, and if any disparities exist, is necessary to accomplish this goal. We’re asking all businesses and stakeholders who were selected to take this survey to respond as soon as possible,” he said. “Doing so will help FRA and Congress fully understand the market and take steps to ensure it is both fair and open to all.”