WASHINGTON - The White House announced Tuesday night that President Donald Trump intends to nominate former Virginia Congresswoman Thelma Drake to be Federal Transit Administrator.
Drake is a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Virginia House of Delegates, and a former director of the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT).
"I was very pleased to get the call from the White House that my name was going to be put out as nominee for Federal Transit Administrator," Drake said in an interview on Wednesday. She's currently the City of Norfolk's Assistant Director of Public Works, working in transportation."You read all the time about problems with the transit industry, so I just thought what an unbelievable opportunity to work on the same issue on a national level."
The agency is part of the Dept. of Transportation. Drake says she applied for the position online and met with Sec. Elaine Chao. If confirmed, she'll oversee more than 500 employees with the goal of helping local and state governments improve public transportation, including DC's troubled Metro system.
"[My] goals are, of course, to make sure that the public has all the confidence in the world in their transit system, to increase our ridership, to provide services that people want: are we taking them where they want to go when they want to go? How do we do that in the most cost effective manner?" she said.
Drake will need Senate confirmation and will face a hearing in front of the Banking Committee. Right now, she says she's not sure when that will happen.