February 19, 2016
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In Memoriam

Drew Lewis, Past DOT Secretary

Drew Lewis, 84, DOT secretary from 1981-83 who oversaw the 5-cent increase in the federal fuel tax to fund transportation infrastructure, died Jan. 10 in Prescott, AZ.

During his tenure, the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982, later approved by President Reagan in early 1983, created two separate accounts in the Highway Trust Fund: the Highway Account and the Mass Transit Account. The legislation also raised the federal fuel tax from 4 cents to 9 cents a gallon, of which 1 cent went to public transportation.

Lewis was active in Republican politics in Pennsylvania before joining Reagan’s cabinet, and he worked in the corporate sector before and after his DOT tenure.

Carmichael, Former FRA Administrator

Gilbert Ellzey “Gil” Carmichael, 88, FRA administrator from 1989-93 and founder of the Transportation Institute at the University of Denver (DTI), died Jan. 31 in Meridian, MS. In 1973, Carmichael joined the National Highway Safety Advisory Committee and chaired it from 1974-76. He served on the National Transportation Policy Study Commission from 1976-79 and also chaired the Amtrak Reform Council. He founded DTI in 1996 and was recognized last year by its board of directors for his contributions to worldwide transportation improvements.

Philip J. Rock, Co-Creator, RTA

Philip J. Rock, 78, one of the creators of Chicago’s Regional Transportation Authority and a 22-year member of the Illinois State Senate—14 of those years as its president, died Jan. 29.

“Thanks to Sen. Rock’s dedication and vision, today the RTA region’s system covers about 3,700 square miles and serves approximately 8.4 million residents providing two million daily rides each workday,” RTA Chairman Kirk Dillard wrote in a letter in the State Journal-Register, Springfield, IL.

Rock received his law degree from Loyola University in Chicago and was an Illinois assistant attorney general and an assistant state’s attorney for Cook County. He was first elected to the state Senate in 1970 and returned to private practice after his retirement from public office.
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