October 31, 2014

N.Y. MTA proposes $32 billion in capital investments

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority yesterday (Sept. 23) published a proposed $32 billion, four-year capital program designed to invest in safety and reliability measures for its subways, commuter railroads, buses, bridges and tunnels. Proposed for 2015 through 2019, the program would “renew, enhance and expand” the MTA network, which moves 8.7 million riders each day, authority [...]

RRB unemployment, sickness benefits to decrease

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Beginning Oct. 1, 2014, the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) will reduce railroad unemployment and sickness insurance benefits by 7.3 percent, up from the current 7.2 percent reduction, due to federal budget cuts first implemented in March 2013. The adjusted reduction amount is based on revised projections of benefit claims and payments under the Railroad [...]

Senate panel approves freight rail oversight changes

The Senate committee that deals with transportation issues approved a bill to beef up the panel of federal regulators that is supposed to oversee operations on the nation’s freight and passenger railways. The measure, which was approved unanimously on Wednesday by the Senate Commerce Committee, emboldens the Department of Transportation’s Surface Transportation Board (STB) to [...]

House panel approves Amtrak budget cut

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A bill that would cut Amtrak’s authorization for new construction spending by 40 percent was unanimously approved Wednesday by the House Transportation Committee. The measure, which was passed on a voice vote with little debate, would reduce Amtrak’s authorized spending level for new construction from approximately $1.3 billion per year under the last Amtrak funding [...]

OSHA announces new injury-reporting requirements

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WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration today announced a final rule requiring employers to notify OSHA when an employee is killed on the job or suffers a work-related hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye. The rule, which also updates the list of employers partially exempt from OSHA record-keeping [...]

Nevada truck firm could pay $5.5M+ in Amtrak crash

RENO, Nev. – A Nevada trucking company could be forced to pay more than $5.7 million if a judge formalizes a jury verdict that faulted one of its drivers for a fiery 2011 crash with an Amtrak train that killed six people and injured dozens. A federal jury in Reno awarded $4.5 million to Amtrak [...]

APTA: 2/3 want increased public transit funding

WASHINGTON – As Congress gets into full swing after the August recess, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) released a survey Sept. 15 that shows the numbers of Americans that support increasing federal public transportation investment grew to nearly 68 percent. This represents a nearly two point increase over last year. The survey, which was [...]

House bill would cut Amtrak funding

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The House is proposing a 40 percent funding cut for new Amtrak construction in a new passenger rail bill that was unveiled on Thursday by the chamber’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Amtrak has received about $1 billion per year from the federal government since its inception in 1971. Read the complete story at The Hill.

SMART TD supports Senate rail crew provision

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U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Surface Transportation, and U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) introduced railroad safety legislation Sept. 10 that continues dialogue on the nation’s rail safety laws. S. 2784, the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2014, contains language that requires freight trains be crewed with at least one federally [...]

Senators propose Rail Safety Improvement Act, 2014

U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) Sept. 10 announced a comprehensive overhaul of rail safety laws and protocols to enforce and enhance safety and reliability following a series of high profile rail catastrophes in New York, Connecticut and nationwide that has undermined public trust in rail infrastructure, safety protocols, management [...]