August 30, 2015

Senate to debate 3-year delay for rail safety system

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Washington, D.C. — Two months after the high-speed derailment of an Amtrak train killed eight people and injured hundreds more in Philadelphia, a Senate transportation bill headed for debate this week calls for a three-year delay of the deadline for installing a rail safety system that experts say would have almost certainly prevented the Pennsylvania [...]

Senate to STB: don’t curtail freight rail investment

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The U.S. Senate recently pointed the way forward for the U.S. Surface Transportation Board (STB) on the issue of ensuring sufficient revenue at freight railroads to pour back into the nation’s infrastructure. The Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization Act of 2015, which was passed by unanimous consent in June, would provide commonsense process improvements. They would [...]

Capping rail revenues will threaten economic goals

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Association of American Railroads (AAR), leaders from its member railroads and economic experts today urged federal regulators to beware of upending numerous national economic goals if they choose to pursue re-instituting revenue caps on freight rail companies. Speaking before a Surface Transportation Board (STB) hearing on railroad revenue adequacy, AAR President and [...]

GOP bill would undermine auto, rail safety regulations

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Washington, D.C. – At a time of record auto recalls and high-profile train wrecks, Republicans are working on legislation to roll back safety regulation of the auto and railroad industries. A bill approved this week on a party-line vote by a Senate committee brims with industry-sought provisions that would block, delay or roll back safety [...]

President Obama announces PEB 248 in NJT dispute

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Washington, D.C. – Today (July 15, 2015), President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order creating a Presidential Emergency Board to investigate and to make recommendations for settlement of the current disputes between the New Jersey Transit Rail and the NJT Rail Labor Coalition. The Executive Order established the Presidential Emergency Board effective July 16, 2015, [...]

House Republicans unveil $8.1 billion transport bill

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Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives on Monday unveiled an $8.1 billion plan to fund highway and rail transit projects through the end of 2015, paid for by extending an airport security fee increase and various tax rule changes. Congress faces a July 31 deadline to renew federal transportation spending authority and avoid a [...]

Obama announces two Amtrak board nominees

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President Barack Obama yesterday announced his intent to nominate Derek Kan and Anthony Coscia to serve on Amtrak‘s board. Kan is director of strategy at Genapsys. Previously, he served as a management consultant at Bain & Co. and as an adviser at Elliott Management. Kan also has served as a policy adviser to Senate Republican Leader [...]

Elizabeth Warren welcomes SMART TD to Providence

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In a video message, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D – Mass.) welcomed SMART Transportation Division attendees to the Providence, R.I. regional meeting held July 13-15, 2015. The video was played at the opening session July 13. Sen. Warren, who has made her life’s work the fight for middle class families, was elected to the United States [...]

Critics say Senate bill would weaken rail safety

Washington, D.C. — A transportation bill introduced by a Senate committee chairman would allow car rental companies to rent recalled vehicles that haven’t been repaired and eliminate any hard deadline for railroads to start using long-sought technology that automatically stops trains to prevent crashes, safety advocates say. The bill was introduced Thursday by Sen. John [...]

DOL seeks nominations for ERISA Advisory Council

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) is soliciting nominations to fill five, 3-year vacancies on the Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans, also known as the ERISA Advisory Council. The deadline to submit nominations is July 31. The 15-member council provides advice on policies and regulations affecting employee benefit [...]