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Talking Transportation: A Conversation with FRA Chief Counsel – Allison Ishihara Fultz.

Allison Ishihara Fultz is no stranger to the ATLP community.  Prior to joining the Federal Railroad Administration (“FRA”) as its Chief Counsel, Allison has served as a passenger rail editor to Highlights, a chair of the program committee, and as a vice president and treasurer of ATLP’s board of directors.  Allison stepped down from ATLP this past fall to assume her role at FRA.  Allison and I recently spoke on the phone to discuss her career in transportation, her transition from private practice to a safety regulator, and current events at the FRA.

One issue that Allison says is an FRA priority in implementing the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, or Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (“BIL”) is ensuring that the agency provides accessible guidance to all potential organizations seeking funds under the new legislation.  Allison says FRA understands that sophisticated organizations know how to navigate the federal government’s grant making process.  But FRA also wants to ensure that other entities, such as small municipalities – less familiar with the granting process – can access funds to address pressing rail infrastructure issues.

Prior to earning her law degree from the American University Washington College of Law, Allison trained to become an architect by earning her AB and Master of Architecture degrees from Princeton University and then practiced architecture for 13 years, designing and directing construction projects and feasibility studies.

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Transportation Bites – Transportation news this week is in sync with ATLP’s Annual Meeting Agenda

ATLP’s Annual Meeting is 79 days away.  The agenda is packed full of transportation topics in sync with this week’s transportation news.  In this Highlights post we review this week’s news and preview related annual meeting sessions.


The Senate sent its version of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act to the House of Representatives this past Monday.  The House had already passed its version of the act and now the chambers must reconcile the differences between the bills. 

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Transportation Bites

  • STB suspends the CP/KCS procedural schedule.
  • Chairman Oberman Appoints Danielle Gosselin as Director of Office of Environmental Analysis of the Surface Transportation Board.  Ms. Gosselin has been Acting Director since the retirement of the prior Director, Vicki Ruston. 
  • Surface Transportation Board holds public hearing on EP 711 (sub 1) to solicit public feedback on reciprocal switching.
  • The Transportation Security Administration is extending the current mandate for mask use on public transportation and in transportation hubs through April 18.
  • The White House seeks to utilize the Federal Maritime Commission to increase oversight of the global shipping industry in an effort to lower consumer prices.
  • Budget deal implements spending authorized in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and provides $102.9 billion in budgetary resources for DOT – an increase of $16.2 billion above the fiscal year 2021 enacted level.