October 5, 2015

DOT clears Richmond-to-Raleigh high-speed rail


Secretary urges continued cooperation to build project. Project would reduce trip time to just over 2 hours from current 3.5. Washington –  The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), the State of North Carolina and the Commonwealth of Virginia announced today that they have signed off on the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for [...]

FRA’s Feinberg testifies before Senate committee


At a nomination hearing September 17, 2015, before the Senate’s Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) Acting Administrator Sarah Feinberg testified on her qualifications as Administrator. Below is her speech. “Chairman Thune, Ranking Member Nelson, and Members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. [...]

Trust fund investment practices of the RRB


Beginning in 2002, a significant portion of the assets of the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) has been invested in private stocks, bonds, and other investments. Prior to the Railroad Retirement and Survivors’ Improvement Act of 2001, P.L. 107-90, surplus railroad retirement assets could only be invested in U.S. government securities— just as the Social Security [...]

New study calls for multiple person train crews

Aii report_small

“Back on Track: Bringing Rail Safety to the 21st Century,” is a study conducted by the Alliance for Innovation and Infrastructure (Aii) on opportunities that are currently available to enhance rail transportation safety in the United States.  The study, which focuses largely on crude oil and hazardous shipments, gives real-world solutions that are intended to prevent [...]

House GOP pressured to get moving on roads bill

Transportation advocates are pushing the House to get moving on passing a new long-term highway funding bill as a deadline for the expiration of the spending looms next month.  Federal infrastructure funding is currently scheduled to expire Oct. 29, although the transportation has said recently that it has enough money to cover expenses until next June as long [...]

Landmark year in collective bargaining will raise wages


Washington – Working people are achieving significant victories through the most expansive period of collective bargaining in modern labor history, according to a new report by the AFL-CIO’s Center for Strategic Research. “This country is having an important debate about raising wages and tackling income inequality,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “This report provides clear evidence [...]

Committee announces Feinberg nomination hearing


Washington — The pending nominee to be the next administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) will provide testimony at a U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation confirmation hearing on Thursday, September 17 at 9:45 a.m.Ms. Feinberg has served as the Acting Administrator of the FRA since January 2015 and the president formally nominated [...]

Calif. governor signs two-person train crew bill into law


Governor Jerry Brown of California September 8, 2015, signed into law bipartisan legislation requiring that all freight trains and light engines are operated by a crew of at least two individuals. SMART Transportation Division National Legislative Director, John Risch, praised the new law: “I am very pleased that California has joined Wisconsin, Arizona and West [...]

FTA seeks comments on XPEDITE initiative


FTA is undertaking an effort to speed up planning, approval and delivery of FTA capital investments and better support innovative financing methods that support capital investments in transit. The multi-faceted Expedited Public Transportation Improvement (XPEDITE) Initiative will enhance and increase the transit industry’s access to: Improved public transportation technologies; Proven methods to speed up planning, development, [...]

OSHA explains process of whistleblower resolution


WASHINGTON - The Occupational Safety and Health Administration today issued policies and procedures* for applying a new process for resolving whistleblower disputes. The new process is an early resolution process that is to be used as part of a regional Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) program. The ADR program offers whistleblower parties the opportunity to negotiate a settlement [...]