August 27, 2014

LIRR union negotiations end abruptly Friday

A hostile bargaining session between the MTA and Long Island Rail Road labor leaders broke off in less than two hours early Friday with no deal in place and union officials saying a July 20 strike is more likely than ever. “Here we go,” Christopher Natale, general chairman of the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen, said [...]

Charlotte commuter train price jumps by $215M

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The Charlotte Area Transit System projects that building a commuter train to Lake Norman would cost $215 million more than expected – a price hike that will likely make it too costly to build. CATS had long planned to use Norfolk Southern freight tracks that parallel Interstate 77 for the Red Line passenger train. It [...]

TD’s June paper to be published after convention

The June 2014 issue of the SMART Transportation Division News will be published following the proceedings of the First SMART Transportation Division Convention June 30-July 2. Publishing the newspaper after the convention will allow the Transportation Division to provide its members and readers with fresh and updated coverage of the convention proceedings. The combined July/August [...]

Supreme Court to hear Amtrak dispute

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The Supreme Court said June 23 it will consider whether Amtrak can partner with a government agency to create rules that other private railroads must follow. The justices agreed to hear the Obama administration’s appeal of a lower court ruling that said Congress unconstitutionally gave regulatory power to the passenger railroad company. Read the complete [...]

Year begins July 1 for RRB unemployment benefits

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A new benefit year under the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act begins July 1, 2014. The maximum daily benefit rate payable for claims under this Act increases to $70 in the new benefit year. Benefits are normally paid for the number of days of unemployment or sickness over four in 14-day registration periods, so maximum benefits [...]

FRA’s Szabo challenges southeast states on rail

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RICHMOND, Va. – Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph C. Szabo today called on elected officials and transportation planners in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia to develop a shared vision of rail service along the Southeast High-Speed Rail Corridor (SEHSR) between Washington, D.C., and Atlanta. Administrator Szabo’s challenge came as he addressed members and supporters [...]

Boston transit toughens staff cellphone policy

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Boston’s public bus drivers and train conductors can now be fired for simply bringing a cell phone to work, according to a new policy that transit officials say is the toughest of its kind in the nation. The rule was announced by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority on Monday a month after a public bus [...]

SMART announces June 21 rally in LIRR dispute

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The International Association of Sheet, Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers and its allied unions on the Long Island Rail Road invite members of organized labor and their family, friends and supporters to a “LIRR Labor Rally” on Saturday, June 21, at 11 a.m. at the Massapequa Train Station. SMART Transportation Division GO 505 General [...]

Riders relieved Philadelphia rail strike is over

PHILADELPHIA – Passengers expressed relief Sunday that Philadelphia-area commuter trains were back on track after a one-day strike threatened to disrupt work schedules for tens of thousands of commuters in the coming week. Employees ended their walkout after President Barack Obama appointed an emergency board to mediate the contract dispute between the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation [...]

LIRR, SMART heading back to bargaining table

Long Island Rail Road union leaders and MTA managers will meet Friday for their first face-to-face contract negotiation session in nearly two months, five weeks before a possible strike that could strand 300,000 daily commuters, a key union official and an MTA source said. “It’s a good start that we’re getting in the room,” Anthony [...]