WASHINGTON — Allan Rutter, Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration, says he is leaving his current post in mid-June for a position with a Texas transportation organization.
“It was a difficult decision, but ultimately it is what is best for my family,” Rutter said in a statement. “The opportunity to serve President Bush as FRA Administrator has been truly an honor and a privilege and one of the great experiences of my life.”
In his new post, Rutter will serve as Deputy Executive Director of the North Texas Tollway Authority. A native of Texas, Rutter looks forward to moving his family back home.
“From the beginning, Allan Rutter has served the Bush Administration with dedication and a commitment to delivering results for the American people. And he’s done just that,” U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta said.
“Under his watch, the Federal Railroad Administration made significant improvements in the safety of our nation’s railroads. Allan also helped shape the Administration’s vision for reform of our nation’s intercity passenger rail system, and helped lead the way in introducing the most comprehensive rail reform proposal ever delivered to Congress.”
Under his leadership, the FRA has experienced measurable improvements in a variety of important rail safety statistics, including a reduction in the train accident/incident rate and continued declines in highway-rail crossing fatalities.
He also has been successful in moving to completion in a timely manner a number of important administrative rules such as locomotive train horn use and standards for processor-based train control systems.
And, he has been responsible for key initiatives in the area of intercity passenger rail. He oversaw improved management of federal appropriations to Amtrak through the use of grant agreements and he helped lead the Bush administration’s innovative policy to fundamentally reform the nation’s intercity passenger rail system, the first such comprehensive reform proposal since Amtrak was created in 1970.
“The rail industry loses a strong leader with the departure of Federal Railroad Administrator Allan Rutter,” said Edward R. Hamberger, president and CEO, Association of American Railroads. “Since joining the Bush administration, Rutter has been an effective voice on rail related issues in Washington. He has worked tirelessly to promote safety and efficiency in the rail network. One of Rutter’s true strengths has been in fostering a spirit of cooperation inside the FRA and with outside groups involved in developing projects such as the North American Positive Train Control Program and the safe implementation of remote control operations.
“Administrator Rutter’s dedication and knowledge will be missed. We wish him well in the future,” Hamberger added. “The industry looks forward to working with Betty Monro as she assumes the role of acting administrator.”
Administrator Rutter was nominated by President Bush in May 2001 and confirmed by the United States Senate in July 2001. He previously served then-Governor Bush as Transportation Policy Director in Texas.
“I want to express my heartfelt appreciation to Transportation Secretary Mineta and all FRA management and staff for working with me to make real and substantive progress to improve the overall safety of this nation’s rail network,” Rutter said. “Together, we have achieved significant results.”
— PRNewswire contributed to this report.