November 28, 2015

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 [...]

Railroads sue California over new crude oil rules


California’s two major railroad companies have filed suit in federal court challenging a state law requiring railroads to come up with an oil spill prevention and response plan. The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court in Sacramento, contends federal laws largely prohibit states from imposing safety rules on railroads such as the ones [...]

House votes against California high speed rail

WASHINGTON — Congressional Republicans this week are trying to drive another spike, or two, into the heart of California’s high-speed rail program. Daring a presidential veto, GOP lawmakers are deploying a Fiscal 2015 transportation funding bill to effectively block the federal Surface Transportation Board from issuing new permits for the California project. Hammering home the [...]

High-speed rail in Calif., Northeast moving forward

High-speed rail has been given an energy-boosting vitamin B-12 shot by the California legislature and Amtrak for separate projects on the West and East Coasts. In California, the legislature agreed to spend $6 billion to build the first 130-mile leg of a 520-mile high-speed line – with an estimated cost of some $68 billion — that eventually [...]

Baffoni: LACMTA negotiations underway

By Vic Baffoni Vice president, Bus Department Negotiations are underway on UTU’s largest bus property, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA). The UTU negotiating committee, headed by General Chairperson James A. Williams, exchanged contract proposals March 19 with the LACMTA negotiating team. The first negotiating session was held April 9, and dates have [...]