May 22, 2015

University of Tennessee shuttle operators seal deal

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The campus shuttle operators for the University of Tennessee’s transportation service unanimously ratified their first agreement with their employer after choosing SMART representation last year, Alternate Vice President – Bus Alvy Hughes reports. The members of newly formed Local 1703 at Knoxville, Tenn., are employed by First Transit, Inc., based in Cincinnati, Ohio. The three-year [...]

FTA lists alcohol, drug-testing rates for 2015

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Acting Federal Transit Administrator Therese McMillan has determined that the random drug-testing rate will remain at 25 percent for 2015 and the random alcohol-testing rate for 2015 will remain at 10 percent for transit employees performing safety-sensitive functions, according to the Federal Register. The determination was made due to a “positive rate” lower than one [...]

Foxx sends six-year transportation bill to Congress

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WASHINGTON – Over the past year, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has visited more than 100 communities and heard one common story – shared by all – about crumbling infrastructure and dwindling resources to fix it with. Secretary Foxx March 30 sent to Congress his solution to this problem: a long-term transportation bill that provides [...]

Treat members alike, represent the interests of all

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By Calvin Studivant, Vice President – Bus –  On behalf of the Smart Transportation Division officers, and especially the officers of the Bus Department, I would like to wish all of our members and their loved ones a safe, healthy and prosperous 2015. Now that the elections for local officers are behind us, I would like [...]

Kansas City school bus operators, monitors get deal

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The school bus operators and monitors of Local 1704 at Kansas City, Mo., have obtained a first contract with First Student, Inc., the operator of school bus service for the city’s school district. This is their first agreement under SMART Transportation Division representation and Vice President–Bus Calvin Studivant said the employees’ choice already paid off. [...]

Mayors call on Congress to pass transportation bill

BOSTON – Led by Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) Vice President Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, mayors pledged March 23 to work together to urge Congress to move past partisanship, including through local action and lobbying Washington, at a [...]

Bus drivers still coping with bathroom access issues

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One afternoon during the summer of 2000, her first year as a bus driver in Oregon’s Portland, Hope Okazaki had a troubling episode of gastrointestinal distress while on the job. She had just finished an almost two-hour tour through the east side of town, and her bus was parked at the Gateway Transit Center, in [...]

Long-term disability program forthcoming

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The trustees of the SMART Voluntary Short-Term Disability program are pleased to announce that they have reached a tentative agreement with Anthem Life Insurance Co. on a group long-term disability plan for our bus and rail members. The plan is intended to provide a seamless transition to long-term coverage for members when disability exceeds the [...]

FMCSA starts committee to update bus driver training

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WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Feb. 10 announced the formation of a 26-member advisory committee that is tasked with updating classroom and new behind-the-wheel training requirements for professional truck and bus drivers. “Over the next 30 years, we’re going to be relying on trucks – and truckers [...]

SEPTA bus operators ink new two-year agreement

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Members of the SMART Transportation Division employed by Southeastern Pennsylvania Metropolitan Transportation Authority ratified Jan. 11 a 2.5-year agreement with the carrier. The contract, which is retroactive to April 1, 2014, and extends until Nov. 18, 2016, covers bus operators, trolley operators and conductors and operators on the Norristown High Speed Line. They are members [...]