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Lyft hires Obama administration's top transportation official

Lyft just made a splashy hire as it focuses on working more closely with governments.Anthony Foxx, fo...

Posted: Oct 9, 2018 5:43 PM
Updated: Oct 9, 2018 5:43 PM

Lyft just made a splashy hire as it focuses on working more closely with governments.

Anthony Foxx, former President Obama's secretary of the Department of Transportation from 2013-2017, will serve as Lyft's chief policy officer and advisor to its co-founders.

Anthony Foxx

Barack Obama

Business and industry sectors

Business, economy and trade

Car sharing

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Political Figures - US

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Uber

Foxx's move speaks to the increasingly central role tech companies play in transportation. He is the first former transportation secretary to join a Silicon Valley startup. In May, he lamented in a speech that while he served as the government's top transportation official he had less real-time information about how his nation's transportation system worked than popular route-planning app Waze.

Foxx joined Lyft because he is drawn to the company's mission and values, he said in a statement Tuesday.

Related: Lyft makes trips carbon neutral in bid to fight climate change

Foxx is expected to focus on developing more partnerships with governments and reshaping mass transit systems in cities.

As a child raised in Charlotte, North Carolina, Foxx saw how transportation can constrain rather than connect communities. Highways surrounded three sides of his neighborhood, leaving it isolated and economically disadvantaged. In a Medium post, Foxx recalled how his grandparents would drive their used car across town to avoid buying moldy meats and seafood at the nearest stores. Many of his neighbors couldn't afford to own a car, a privilege not lost on Foxx.

Foxx went on to become mayor of Charlotte, focusing particular interest on transportation. Now he joins a team long devoted to ending car ownership: Lyft's founders have criticized US cities for being designed around cars rather than people, and expressed alarm that most Americans spend more money on transportation than food.

Foxx is the second prominent Obama official to join Lyft. Former senior adviser Valerie Jarrett was named to the company's board last year.

Lyft, long overshadowed by its larger rival Uber, has resurged since Uber endured a series of scandals in 2017. Lyft, which is still significantly smaller than Uber, reached the one-billion-ride milestone in September and has expanded into offering bikes and scooters -- another area Foxx will focus on.

Ridesharing companies have been criticized for contributing to increased congestion in cities as customers gravitate from public transportation systems to services such as Uber and Lyft. In August, New York City passed legislation to cap the number of ridesharing vehicles. The shift could have a significant impact on Lyft's business, especially if other cities follow suit. Foxx's government experience may prove critical if congestion questions become more common.

Both companies are increasingly focused on partnering with governments and mass transit. This summer Lyft started to integrate public transportation in its app. Earlier this year, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, said he'd like to run a city's bus network.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 263023

Reported Deaths: 5752
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17675191
Hinds16813331
Harrison14224204
Rankin11167219
Jackson10839190
Lee9050144
Madison8568168
Jones6668114
Forrest6177124
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Lamar503965
Washington4923125
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Pontotoc376258
Warren3674103
Monroe3671108
Union355663
Marshall355270
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Lincoln305688
Hancock291862
Sunflower291475
Tate279662
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Pike268981
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Scott259648
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Wayne212634
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Jasper179538
Holmes171768
Clay165837
Tallahatchie156235
Stone151425
Clarke147262
Calhoun140822
Smith129226
Yalobusha122034
Walthall114337
Greene113529
Noxubee112926
Montgomery111636
Carroll106622
Lawrence106517
Perry104531
Amite101426
Webster96124
Tunica88821
Claiborne88325
Jefferson Davis88329
Benton85623
Humphreys84624
Kemper80520
Quitman7089
Franklin69917
Choctaw63213
Wilkinson59825
Jefferson56821
Sharkey45117
Issaquena1606
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 439442

Reported Deaths: 6657
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson644371007
Mobile31435569
Madison28158217
Tuscaloosa21492275
Montgomery19873332
Shelby19248132
Baldwin17128189
Lee13137107
Morgan12594142
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Talladega6445112
Walker6028183
Jackson599145
Colbert548694
Blount546286
Autauga535862
Coffee460764
Dale409685
Franklin374150
Russell354215
Chilton344373
Covington338580
Escambia334544
Tallapoosa3143109
Dallas312996
Chambers303470
Clarke298036
Pike262431
Lawrence253355
Marion253161
Winston233342
Bibb222348
Geneva210247
Marengo208231
Pickens199531
Hale184944
Barbour180538
Fayette177829
Butler173160
Cherokee165131
Henry159525
Monroe152021
Randolph145536
Washington141727
Clay129746
Crenshaw123745
Macon121937
Cleburne121525
Lamar119922
Lowndes114836
Wilcox107922
Bullock103328
Perry99918
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Sumter90527
Greene77923
Coosa63418
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