49 USC 301 - Leadership, consultation, and cooperation

The Secretary of Transportation shall
(1) under the direction of the President, exercise leadership in transportation matters, including those matters affecting national defense and those matters involving national or regional emergencies;
(2) provide leadership in the development of transportation policies and programs, and make recommendations to the President and Congress for their consideration and implementation;
(3) coordinate Federal policy on intermodal transportation and initiate policies to promote efficient intermodal transportation in the United States;
(4) promote and undertake the development, collection, and dissemination of technological, statistical, economic, and other information relevant to domestic and international transportation;

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(5) consult and cooperate with the Secretary of Labor in compiling information regarding the status of labor-management contracts and other labor-management problems and in promoting industrial harmony and stable employment conditions in all modes of transportation;
(6) promote and undertake research and development related to transportation, including noise abatement, with particular attention to aircraft noise, and including basic highway vehicle science;
(7) consult with the heads of other departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the United States Government on the transportation requirements of the Government, including encouraging them to establish and observe policies consistent with maintaining a coordinated transportation system in procuring transportation or in operating their own transport services;
(8) consult and cooperate with State and local governments, carriers, labor, and other interested persons, including, when appropriate, holding informal public hearings; and
(9) develop and coordinate Federal policy on financing transportation infrastructure, including the provision of direct Federal credit assistance and other techniques used to leverage Federal transportation funds.