Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for holding this hearing. I am very pleased to have an opportunity to hear from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Secretary Norman Mineta and the other witnesses regarding Transit in the 21st Century and what has and has not worked for transit in our communities since the authorization of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21).
As you know, TEA-21 has provided State and local governments with greater flexibility, yet stability, in transportation funding. This has been achieved through innovative financing and record levels of transportation investment. In the upcoming year, I am excited to work with my colleagues, the U.S. Department of Transportation, State and local government officials, and other interested parties to ensure that we expand on the solid and balanced structure of TEA-21.
Because Wyoming's population is approximately 480,000 people statewide, rural transit is especially of concern to me and my constituents. I have heard from several constituents in Wyoming regarding the need for stable and reliable transit service in our rural communities. One of my goals as a United States Senator, as well as the Wyoming congressional delegation as a whole, is to improve transit service to Wyoming's cities and towns. A firm commitment to our communities' transit needs will help maintain economic growth and job creation in Wyoming. I am currently working with the Wyoming Department of Transportation and local officials in Wyoming to find ways to improve transit service in our smaller, more rural communities.
In closing, the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs is committed to ensuring that our colleagues, the U.S. Department of Transportation and other interested parties stay on task in an efficient and effective manner to ensure the most equitable and flexible transit for communities nationwide. Again, I want to thank Secretary Mineta and the other witnesses for being here today. I look forward to hearing from you today and look forward to further discussing transit issues with each of you and your staff in the months to come. Thank you again, Mr. Chairman, for holding this hearing.