April 23, 2014

FMCSA operation removes 52 unsafe bus companies

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WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced Dec. 12 that 52 bus companies and 340 vehicles were put out of business and removed from the road as a result of Operation Quick Strike, an eight-month intensified effort to shut down unsafe motorcoach companies. “Bus travel is increasingly popular [...]

CATS Local 1715 averts strike, gets three-year deal

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SMART Transportation Division Local 1715 bus operators employed by Transit Management of Charlotte, Inc., Dec. 12 ratified a three-year agreement with management, averting a possible strike. The new agreement calls for annual wage increases, paid retroactively to July 1, plus the return of travel-time pay, a contract provision that previously had been negotiated away when [...]

Whistleblowers can now file complaints online

WASHINGTON – Whistleblowers covered by one of 22 statutes administered by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration will now be able to file complaints online. The online form will provide workers who have been retaliated against an additional way to reach out for OSHA assistance online.  ”The ability of workers to [...]

Rutgers’ bus ops were smart, now SMART

Bus operators for Rutgers University’s inter-campus bus and shuttle system seeking union representation overwhelmingly chose the SMART Transportation Division Dec. 9 as their collective bargaining representative. Among 112 eligible voters, 74 of the 80 operators participating in the union election chose SMART as their representative, while six voted for no union. The bus service is [...]

OSHA fines First Student for driving with bald tires

JUNCTION CITY, OREGON — A bus used to drive Junction City School District students to and from school operated with front tires so worn that the cords underneath the tire tread were visible, state workplace safety regulators have found. The bus company, First Student Inc., has acknowledged that the tires’ treads were too worn and fired [...]

School bus summit shines spotlight on safety

WASHINGTON – The threat of unscrupulous school bus contractors transporting our nation’s students and the working conditions of drivers are among the topics featured at today’s school bus summit hosted by the Transportation Trades Department of the AFL-CIO. “During this summit we will drill down on the challenges faced by school bus drivers in a [...]

Blumenauer to introduce transit infrastructure bills

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U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) will introduce Dec. 4 legislation to fund U.S. transportation infrastructure in the nation now and into the future. The two bills will establish a series of pilot projects to further study the application of a vehicle-miles-traveled fee and establish a 15-cents-per-gallon increase to the federal gas tax. “Increased vehicle-fuel efficiency [...]

Critical Pa. transportation bill rejected

HARRISBURG, Pa. – The Pennsylvania state House delivered a body blow Nov. 18 to hopes for a major transportation spending proposal in a test vote that raised doubts about whether any roads bill will pass this year. The House voted 98-103 against a proposal to raise gasoline taxes and a host of motorists’ fees to [...]

Seat belts will be required on large buses

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New tour buses and buses that provide service between cities must be equipped with seat belts starting in late 2016 under a federal rule issued Wednesday, a safety measure sought by accident investigators for nearly a half century. Beginning in November 2016, all new motorcoaches and some other large buses must be equipped by manufacturers [...]

SEPTA depending on passage of transportation bill

SEPTA officials are preparing for the worst, detailing a doomsday scenario that they say will take place if Pennsylvania lawmakers don’t pass a transportation funding measure in the next nine days. In a written press release, officials stated that SEPTA’s fiscal year 2014, which began on July 1, 2013, represents the fourth straight year of [...]