April 1, 2015

Senators propose new crude-by-rail regulations

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) introduced legislation March 25 that would set strong new safety standards for trains hauling volatile crude oil, to better protect American communities along the tracks. The Crude-By-Rail Safety Act of 2015 requires the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety [...]

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 [...]

What do we, as a labor organization, want?

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By John Risch, National Legislative Director –  What do we want? What do you want? What does your union want? What does labor want? The most common question I get when working Capitol Hill here in Washington, D.C., is – “What’s the ask?” – meaning, what is it you’re going to ask the representative or senator [...]

Foxx urged to re-evaluate impact of trucks on roads

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Cory A. Booker (D-N.J) with U.S. Representatives James P. McGovern (D-Mass.) and Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) March 26 wrote to U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Anthony Foxx, urging him to review results of a 2012 DOT study on the impact of heavy commercial trucks on the nation’s [...]

Bill to delay PTC deadline marked up by committee

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Members of the Senate Commerce Committee yesterday voted to approve the markup of a bill that would extend the deadline for affected rail companies to implement positive-train-control (PTC) technology until Dec. 31, 2020, instead of the current deadline that would require implementation by the end of this year. In addition to the five-year extension, the [...]

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. [...]

Bill to extend PTC implementation delays safety

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The SMART Transportation Division, in conjunction with Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO, issued the following statement on the U.S. Senate markup of a Positive Train Control (PTC) extension bill: “A five-year extension of the deadline by which Positive Train Control (PTC) technology must be implemented cannot be considered in a vacuum or in isolation. Rail employees, [...]

Passenger rail in Colorado needs your help

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Colorado State Legislative Director Carl Smith asks that all members from the state call or email key legislators to pass the bill funding Amtrak’s Southwest Chief. “A bill to save the Southwest Chief will be heading to the Colorado Legislature’s Senate Appropriations Committee very soon. We need you to contact key legislators today to help [...]

Common-sense fix for truck-train crashes rejected

RALEIGH, N.C. – America’s railroads want five more years to stop train wrecks using a high-tech system costing more than $15 billion. But experts tell The Associated Press that it won’t keep trains and trucks from crashing together unless both industries use a common-sense solution available right away: actually talking with each other before crossing into [...]

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 [...]