RALEIGH—Officials at the N.C. Department of Transportation have postponed its annual Public Transportation Conference, scheduled to be held next week in Raleigh, due to staffing shortages resulting from the ongoing federal shutdown.
On Tuesday, NCDOT was instructed to furlough 22 employees in federally funded positions, all of which were tied to its Public Transportation Division, the unit responsible for planning and executing the conference for approximately 200 attendees from transit systems and other related agencies throughout the state.
“Given that almost all the employees in the Public Transportation Division have been sent home without any indication of when they can return to work, we had no choice but to postpone the conference,” said NCDOT Deputy Secretary for Transit Richard Walls. “There’s no way we could host an event of this magnitude with only a few employees, and we will reschedule it for a later date when we have all our resources back in place.”
NCDOT is still working to identify potential impacts to any public transportation, rail, aviation, highway or bike and pedestrian projects that require input or approval from furloughed federal employees. That could impact any state projects that require federal permits and work supported by federal agencies, like dredging projects.
NCDOT will continue to work closely with federal partners, monitor the situation closely, and update the public on potential impacts.