March 2, 2015

FMCSA starts committee to update bus driver training

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WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Feb. 10 announced the formation of a 26-member advisory committee that is tasked with updating classroom and new behind-the-wheel training requirements for professional truck and bus drivers. “Over the next 30 years, we’re going to be relying on trucks – and truckers [...]

SEPTA bus operators ink new two-year agreement

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Members of the SMART Transportation Division employed by Southeastern Pennsylvania Metropolitan Transportation Authority ratified Jan. 11 a 2.5-year agreement with the carrier. The contract, which is retroactive to April 1, 2014, and extends until Nov. 18, 2016, covers bus operators, trolley operators and conductors and operators on the Norristown High Speed Line. They are members [...]

African American railroaders forge history at museum

ROANOKE, Va. – Members of the African American Norfolk & Western Heritage Group in Roanoke stepped behind a curtain and took their first look at how the Virginia Museum of Transportation will present their history. “I think it’s great,” said Carroll Swain, 87, one of the group’s founding members. “Right now I think it’s something [...]

Foxx says PTC deadline will not be extended

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A Dec. 31 deadline for railroads to equip all trains with crash-avoidance technology known as “positive train controls” won’t be extended, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said Feb. 11. Testifying before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Foxx said his department is “continuing to hold the industry’s feet to the fire in getting PTC done as [...]

Kan. SLD lobbies for two-person crew law

A railroad labor lobbyists asked the Wellington City Council to give its support to a bill in the state legislature that would require trains to have two people in the cabin while a train is running. Ty Dragoo told the council at a worksession meeting Monday, railroad workers feel this is a safety issue. Read [...]

Anthem issues update on client data breach

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Anthem President and CEO Joseph R. Swedish has issued the following statement regarding the data breach of the company’s information systems last week: Last week, we made you aware that Anthem was the target of a very sophisticated external, cyber-attack. Since that time, we have been working around the clock continuing our assistance in the [...]

Voice your opposition to right to work bills in Mo.

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Right to work legislation will be taken up Wednesday, Feb. 11, in the Missouri House of Representatives, Transportation Division State Legislative Director Ken Menges reports. Menges is asking SMART members in the state to contact their state representatives and ask them to vote against the legislation. “These so called ‘right to work’ or ‘workplace freedom’ [...]

The other train accident victims: Rail workers

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In December 2013, after a Metro-North train jumped the rails in the Bronx, killing four and injuring 75, a union leader described the train engineer as “totally traumatized.” The New York accident made national headlines, but other than the union quote, little attention was given to that trauma he faced. A similar description of an [...]

Two-person crew bills introduced in Neb., Wyo.

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Legislation requiring two-person railroad crews in the states of Nebraska and Wyoming have been introduced in the respective state legislatures. Nebraska State Legislative Director Bob Borgeson reports that state Legislative Bill 192, legislation requiring freight train crews in the state to consist of at least two persons, has been introduced in the Nebraska Legislature by [...]

Response to SEPTA’s service hours waiver request

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The Federal Railroad Administration Feb. 10 will hold a public hearing before ruling on a waiver request by Southeastern Pennsylvania Metropolitan Transportation Authority (SEPTA) to extend its current waiver of hours of service provisions for on duty points. SEPTA has asked FRA to renew a waiver that the transit agency has had in effect for the [...]