Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg suggested that transitioning to a “monthly transportation payment” from monthly car payments could be in America’s future.
Buttigieg also said a “monthly mobility dividend” could lie further out in the future.
“What I mean by that is if we’re looking way out into the future, where we have things like, let’s imagine distributed energy generation where you have resources at your house, whether it’s a dramatically more efficient, even solar panels and wind resources,” Buttigieg said Wednesday at an event hosted by the liberal think tank New America.
“From your home, you can put more into the transportation system than you get out of it through things like energy, so that you would participate in creating so much value that you’d actually get a net dividend on it, instead of paying into it on a net basis,” he added. “Now, that’s pretty far out.”
A “more intermediate goal” in the U.S. would be transitioning from monthly car payments to a “monthly transportation payment that’s quite a bit less than a car payment that covers everything,” said Buttigieg, a Democratic presidential candidate in 2020.
“We’re actually seeing certain glimmers of this now,” he said. “So some of the rideshare companies, for example, are starting to look at mobility as a service where you have some kind of interface, and it’s neutral on whether you’re on one of their bikes, or in one of their rideshare things or just on public transit, or some combination thereof, or it even leads to a train ticket or something.
“All you do is you tell your smartphone, you know, ‘Hey Siri, book me from the street corner I’m standing at to my cousin’s house in Louisville,’ and then Siri figures it out, and you pay once, and it may or may not be a single seat ride, but off you go. That’s a vision, I think, that’s well within our lifetimes, if not within our grasp.”
Transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg’s top political donors received millions of dollars in city contracts after giving thousands to his campaigns while he was mayor of South Bend, Indiana.
Buttigieg’s political action committees took money from 23 companies who then got jobs from South Bend’s Board of Public Works whose members he appointed, documents obtained by DailyMail.com reveal.
On two occasions, the former presidential candidate received donations the same day the companies were awarded contracts.
Other city contractors gifted the mayor cigars, alcohol and golf trips worth hundreds of dollars.
The companies, their executives and spouses donated a total $253,750 to Buttigieg’s campaigns, and received a total of at least $33,310,426 in city contracts between 2011 and 2019.
After Buttigieg appointed one former company executive to city’s Public Works department, the firm was then handed multiple infrastructure jobs, and became one of Mayor Pete’s largest donors.
Buttigieg served as the mayor of South Bend from 2012 to 2020. He was appointed transportation secretary by President Joe Biden early last year.
Government watchdogs say the pattern of donations and contracts could present the appearance of a ‘pay to play’ scandal – and raises concerns over the $210billion earmarked in the bipartisan infrastructure bill for Buttigieg to dish out in discretionary grants as transport secretary, part of a $1.2trillion budget.
‘The pattern of contracts and donations appears to be a huge conflict of interest,’ Taxpayers Protection Alliance president David Williams told DailyMail.com.
‘This really doesn’t bode well for the secretary of transportation when he has access to almost $1.2trillion in infrastructure money.
‘This is alarming, and very concerning, because this is the swamp personified. You don’t have to be a Rhodes Scholar to look at this and think that something’s wrong here.
‘Was there a quid pro quo? Was there some sort of backroom deal for these projects? taxpayers deserve answers.’
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on Monday said the infrastructure bill will address the racist highway design meant to block black and brown kids from being bussed to the beach.
The program, dubbed “Reconnecting Communities,” will address racial inequities in the nation’s highway design.
“If an underpass was constructed such that a bus carrying mostly Black and Puerto Rican kids to a beach, […] in New York was designed too low for it to pass by, that that obviously reflects racism that went into those design choices,” Buttigieg said on Monday.
“I don’t think we have anything to lose by confronting that simple reality and I think we have everything to gain by acknowledging it and then dealing with it…” he added.
A spokesperson for the Department of Transportation confirmed that Buttigieg was “mostly offline” throughout this tumultuous time period.
“For the first four weeks, he was mostly offline except for major agency decisions and matters that could not be delegated,” said the spokesperson. “He has been ramping up activities since then.”
The spokesperson added that Buttigieg will “continue to take some time over the coming weeks to support his husband and take care of his new children.”
The White House did not confirm if President Biden approved the leave himself.
“Pete’s been a key member of the team since Day One, and has been critical as we shepherd the President’s agenda across the finish line,” an official told Politico. “We’re overjoyed for him and Chasten, and believe every American should have access to paid family leave.”
This past Wednesday, Buttigieg reportedly attended a “high-profile meeting” with President Joe Biden to discuss the ongoing supply chain crisis that will likely result in empty shelves at major and small retail outlets this holiday season – a prospect resulting in the hashtag #EmptyShelvesJoe trending on Twitter Thursday.