CALIFORNIA – Today, the California High-Speed Rail Authority (CAHSRA), which oversees the largest high-speed rail project under construction in North America, announced a ground-breaking agreement with 13 rail unions to utilize rail workers covered by federal railroad labor laws in critical jobs once trains begin to operate. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) ensures that highly […]
The Surface Transportation Board recently closed the comment period for rail stakeholders to file their thoughts on whether reciprocal switching should be considered as an option to address subpar rail service in the U.S.
And among the thousands of pages in filings to the board about the issue were dozens of suggestions and questions. How can regulators create a formula that can recognize when subpar rail service has occurred but can also account for unusual circumstances such as flooding? Should reciprocal switching be an option provided to all shippers, including those that ship commodities that have historically been exempt from regulations, such as crushed stone or scrap metal? And how could reciprocal switching affect collective bargaining agreements?
STB will be mulling over these questions over the next several weeks. Meanwhile, stakeholders’ responses to the filings will be due Dec. 6.
More than two dozen labor unions are calling on the federal government to rein in autonomous vehicles. In a letter to the Secretary of Transportation, the unions wrote that driverless vehicles are a menace to society. The unions say that federal officials should dig deep into the record and reliability of driverless vehicles.
Unions have “grave concerns”
The Transport Workers Union of America, Transportation Trades Department, International Brotherhood of Teamsters and about two dozen other unions outlined their worries to Pete Buttigieg, the U.S. Transportation Secretary, last Wednesday. “We write today to reiterate our grave safety concerns about the expanded testing and operation of automated driving system-equipped vehicles,” the letter read. “Given the recent surge in both the number of cities operating these vehicles on public streets and the number of crashes and safety incidents involving these vehicles, we urge you to take immediate action to bring long overdue federal leadership to this issue.”
On Nov. 8, 26 labor organizations asked the U.S. Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in a six-page letter to “take immediate action” to “end the unsafe operation of [automated driving system]-equipped vehicles on our roads.”
Greg Regan, president of the Transportation Trades Department of the AFL-CIO, told Smart Cities Dive that there is a need for federal leadership “as opposed to a patchwork of state and local laws” governing autonomous vehicles. Labor leaders also asked the DOT to update the department’s automated vehicle policy and to “reject the Trump Administration’s hands-off approach to regulating automated vehicles.”
In 2021, NHTSA ordered manufacturers and operators of vehicles equipped with advanced driver assistance systems, such as lane-centering and adaptive cruise control, to report all crashes involving these technologies. The following year, NHTSA reported 367 collisions, including six fatalities, over a 10-month period.
WASHINGTON – Today, 27 labor organizations representing transportation workers urged federal transportation safety officials to immediately open investigations into Waymo, Zoox, and similar companies that operate robotaxis and other for-hire driverless vehicles. While Cruise issued a voluntary software recall yesterday for its 950 driverless vehicle fleet and has temporarily halted its driverless vehicle operations, other […]
A broad coalition of American maritime and transportation unions has registered its strong opposition to a proposal that would promote the operation of United States-flag vessels with foreign crews. The proposal, part of a report issued by the Hudson Institute, would create a second United States-flag ship registry to allow vessel owners to bypass the […]
WASHINGTON — Greg Regan and Shari Semelsberger, President and Secretary-Treasurer of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), issued this statement after the Senate voted, 98-0, to confirm Michael Whitaker to be Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA): “We applaud today’s Senate floor vote to confirm Michael Whitaker as the next FAA Administrator. As the […]
WASHINGTON, DC – Pennsylvania U.S. Senator John Fetterman, along with fourteen Senate colleagues, today introduced the Transit Emergency Relief Act, a new bill to improve the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Emergency Response (ER) Program. The bill would bring the FTA ER program into parity with the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) program that serves the same purpose for America’s […]
WASHINGTON — Greg Regan and Shari Semelsberger, President and Secretary-Treasurer of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), issued this statement ahead of today’s scheduled Senate hearing to consider several nominations, including Michael Whitaker to be Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA): “We urge the Senate to confirm Michael Whitaker to lead the FAA. As […]
WASHINGTON, D.C. — This week, Rep. Emilia Sykes (OH-13) led a letter with Reps. Seth Moulton (MA-06), Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), Don Bacon (NE-02), and 74 additional House members to House and Senate leadership calling for any upcoming government funding package to include robust funding for Amtrak and its passenger rail services. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA, […]