American Bus Association Honors Clyde Hart, Retiring Senior Vice President for Government Affairs and Policy, at Marketplace (January 26, 2015)
The Board of Directors of the American Bus Association honored Clyde Hart during the just completed ABA Marketplace in St. Louis, January 10-13, 2015. Hart is ABA’s longtime Senior Vice President for Government Affairs and Policy. He recently announced his retirement after nearly forty years in Washington both in government and with ABA.
Under Hart’s leadership, ABA’s Government Affairs and Policy team are considered by many on Capitol Hill and the regulatory agencies to be among the best when it comes to transportation related issues. These are just a few of his accomplishments in the last two years.
- Hart and his team worked with federal officials to help put seatbelts on new motorcoaches beginning in 2016, but without retrofitting older motorcoaches.
- An ABA-led coalition of ten transportation-related groups, in part organized by Hart, got legislation passed by the House and Senate and signed by President Obama. The law prevented the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration from enacting rules, beyond the agency’s usual scope, concerning sleep apnea.
- ABA’s team in 2014 successfully delayed FMCSA action to raise motorcoach insurance minimums, and ABA worked with lawmakers to preserve the motorcoach industry’s partial fuel tax exemption.
- During his 14 years at ABA, Hart was instrumental in protecting the motorcoach industry in several major transportation reauthorization bills, including MAP-21 and its predecessor SAFETEA-LU. Because of his work, privately owned motorcoach companies, their passengers, and employees are included in federal safety initiatives. The industry also benefited from his expertise as state and federal officials must include motorcoach companies when it comes to improving rural transportation options for passengers.
- Hart's Government Affairs and Policy team were instrumental in the implementation of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act and its impact on the motorcoach industry. ABA insured there would be increased federal funding to help obtain wheelchair lifts on motorcoaches to allow bus companies to serve passengers with disabilities.
- Hart’s work at ABA has been recognized by several influential groups in Washington. The newspaper “The Hill” named him lobbyist of the year, and Association Trends selected him as the most “Effective Association Lobbyist” for his work on the MAP-21 law.
Hart’s service in Washington began in the 1970s. Before joining ABA in 2001, he served as Administrator of the U.S. Maritime Administration. He helped create the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and later served as its first Administrator, just after Congress created the agency. He also was appellate litigation attorney for the Interstate Commerce Commission and then Senior Counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. In that position, he played a key role in writing several major transportation-related pieces of legislation, affecting transportation reauthorization, the National Highway System, the Maritime Security Program and the Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act.
Outside of ABA, Clyde is a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights-District of Columbia Advisory Committee, and he is a Board Member of Operation Lifesaver, Inc. the rail grade crossing safety organization.
His educational accomplishments are equally impressive; a Bachelor’s Degree, two Master’s Degrees, a Law Degree and an Honorary Doctorate from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy. Clyde also served his nation honorably in the United States Air Force during the Vietnam War.
“Clyde Hart is a man of integrity. It has been an honor to work side-by-side with him at ABA for nearly 15 years. He is the personification of what the words integrity and leadership represent. Together we have gone to Congress many times to testify before committees or meet with an individual lawmaker, and each time we enter a building it seems that everyone on Capitol Hill knows and respects Clyde. His word is his bond,” said ABA President and CEO Peter Pantuso. “The entire industry is indebted to Clyde for his tireless work at ABA, and during his many years in the Senate and at the regulatory agencies. We wish Clyde and his wonderful wife Lauralee nothing but good health and happiness.”