December 20, 2014

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 [...]

Driving a bus ‘a potent stress cocktail’

Morr, Bonnie.2011

By Bonnie MorrAlternate Vice President – Bus Department Operating a bus may be the most stressful job in America. Early in November, 100 Detroit bus operators walked off the job after repeated passenger assaults. In New York, a study found a pattern of physical and verbal assaults on drivers. Add to the fear of being [...]

Congress OKs Amtrak, air, bus, transit funding

amtrak locomotive; amtrak car; amtrak

WASHINGTON — Congress, unable to agree on very much lately, has agreed on funding for Amtrak, bus transportation, commercial aviation and transit through Sept. 30, 2012. The funding is for fiscal year 2012, which began Oct. 1. Earlier, Congress agreed to legislation extending FY 2011 funding until final agreement on FY 2012 funding could be [...]

House bill would help restore transit service, jobs

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WASHINGTON – A bi-partisan bill has been introduced in the House of Representatives to bring financial relief to distressed transit systems and to help stem cuts in transit jobs and service. Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-Mo.) and Rep. Steve Latourette (R-Ohio) have introduced H.R. 3200, the Local Flexibility for Transit Assistance Act, over concern that as [...]