April 23, 2014

FMCSA announces driver fatigue management tool

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WASHINGTON – Anne S. Ferro, Administrator of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, in July announced the launch of the North American Fatigue Management Program (NAFMP), a website that provides training and education on commercial bus and truck driver fatigue management. “We can help [...]

Suspected gunman dies after Seattle bus shooting

SEATTLE – When a 64-year-old transit bus driver saw three people board at the rear of his bus during the Monday morning rush hour in downtown Seattle, he asked them to come up front to pay. Two did. The third passenger paced back and forth, then hit the driver and shot him twice before running [...]

Thank you fellow bus operators and President Futhey

Calvin Studivant

Bus companies are comprised of many departments and each department relies on one another in order to be a successful operation. But rarely do the bus operators get the credit they deserve. The daily elements that they face would make a lot of people second-guess their career choice. The SMART Transportation Division bus operators are [...]

Automatic disability insurance for bus members

The SMART Transportation Division has renewed its contract, effective July 1, 2013, with Anthem Life Insurance Co. to provide a group voluntary short-term disability plan for all bus members. Coverage will continue to be automatic unless members choose to waive coverage or “opt-out.” The Anthem disability plan provides a basic “safety net” of coverage for [...]

Congressmen announce public transportation caucus

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U.S. Reps. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) and Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) announced May 23 the formation of the Congressional Public Transportation Caucus aimed at addressing issues facing the country’s public transportation systems, including rail, light rail, bus rapid transit, and traditional bus service. The bipartisan Caucus will provide a forum for members of Congress to engage in [...]

Bus employers ask to have hours of service law cut

SEPTA and Port Authority employers are awaiting a decision to be made by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) on whether or not they can continue to ignore state law and keep drivers on the clock for shifts lasting up to 18 hours. SEPTA drivers can work up to 30 hours within a two-day period. Pennsylvania [...]

Administration drops redundant driver’s license rule

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The federal government is relaxing a rule for drivers of buses and large trucks who are involved in out-of-state traffic violations. 

 The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, an office of the Department of Transportation, is eliminating a requirement that drivers notify their state’s licensing agency when they are convicted of a traffic offense in [...]

First Student employees bring Christmas to kids

“First Student bus drivers and mechanics from Local 1908 are so much more than just people who get your children to and from school,” said Local Secretary Joann Ehrhardt. If you need proof, just ask some of those children. After a Buffalo, N.Y., School District family of six lost everything to a Dec. 1 house [...]

New surface transport law a mixed bag

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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 [...]

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 [...]