August 23, 2014

New surface transport law a mixed bag

capitol

It’s not all we wanted, but, maybe more important, it’s not as bad as it could have been. Given the polarization of this Congress, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century – MAP-21 – is as good a new transportation authorization bill as we could have hoped for. Passed by bipartisan majorities in [...]

Death by rail: For crew, healing takes time

Harris, Waverly

Suicide by rail is no stranger to operators of steel-wheel trollies on Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority’s Victory Division in suburban Philadelphia. UTU-represented members of this SEPTA property recall having to plead with management to replace the front facing of a trolley displaying a macabre embedded facial image of a man who chose to end his [...]

UTU-member bus driver murdered in Los Angeles

Thomas, Alan

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. – A Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) bus driver, and member of UTU Local 1563, was murdered aboard his bus here Sunday morning, May 20, by a lone gunman, according to media reports. Alan Thomas, 51, who began driving part-time for LACMTA in 2007, and became a full-time driver in 2010, was [...]

Rails created early bus lines

Calvin Studivant

By Calvin Studivant, Alternate Vice President, Bus Department –  The relationship between railroads and bus companies has a long history not known by many UTU members. Beginning in the early part of the 20th century, railroads began acquiring or creating infant bus lines to extend their passenger networks to where rails didn’t reach. In 1926, Great [...]

Bus locals respond to survey

Morr, Bonnie.2011

By Bonnie MorrVice President, Bus Department Many of our bus locals have responded to a survey focusing on the health conditions of bus operators. This is a very important step in identifying some of the health issues that we face while on the job. The Transit Bus Operator Workplace Health and Wellness Survey, sponsored by [...]

What are these conservative lawmakers thinking?

Calvin Studivant

By Calvin StudivantAlternate Vice President, Bus Department When reading about the conservatives’ attack on mass transit in the House of Representatives, all I can ask is, “What are they thinking?” With gas prices rising to record levels, even low-wage workers who own an automobile can’t afford to drive to work; and for the millions of [...]

Big pride in bus, transit victories

Morr, Bonnie.2011

By Bonnie MorrVice President, Bus Department The UTU has gained a new First Transit property in Farmington, N.M., which is now in Local 1687 out of Albuquerque. Contract negotiations have begun. We also are in the initial stages of organizing some 200 workers on a transit property and a light rail property in Southern California. [...]

Federal funding announced for transit modernizing

WASHINGTON – More than $826 million will become available to transit systems in the U.S. this year for modernizing and repairing vehicles, the Department of Transportation announced Feb. 6. “An American economy that’s built to last must be built on a solid foundation, and when we have buses, transit facilities, and other equipment that’s in [...]

Repeal referendum likely in Indiana

Wisconsin Rally; Wisconsin; Rally; protest

INDIANAPOLIS – Gov. Mitch Daniels has signed into law right-to-work (for less) legislation in Indiana that prohibits union-shop agreements and prohibits union contracts that require those who decline to join a union from paying any fees for representation – essentially encouraging free riders and severely damaging the financial ability of unions to serve members. Contracts [...]

Random drug, alcohol test rates set for 2012

WASHINGTON – The Department of Transportation has ordered the following minimum random drug and alcohol testing rates for 2012: For workers in safety sensitive positions and whose safety is regulated by the Federal Railroad Administration, the Federal Transit Administration or the Federal Aviation Administration, employers must perform random drug tests on at least 25 percent of [...]