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Bill would create aviation response plan for pandemics and study disease transmission on airplanes

Democratic leaders on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee introduced legislation Thursday that would require the transportation secretary to develop an aviation-sector plan for managing disease outbreaks.

The Healthy Flights Act of 2021 — introduced by Rep. Peter A. DeFazio (D-Ore.), the committee’s chairman; and Rep. Rick Larsen (D-Wash.), the aviation subcommittee chairman — also makes clear that the Federal Aviation Administration has the authority to impose requirements to protect passengers and airline workers during public health emergencies. In addition, it would require that people wear masks on airplanes and in airports, and that airline employees and some FAA personnel be given personal protective equipment during public health emergencies linked to respiratory diseases.

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Biden’s Infrastructure Package Is Designed to Boost Unions

As reported by Kate Davidson and Amara Omeokwe for The Wall Street Journal President Biden’s $2.3 trillion plan to invest in infrastructure, clean energy and caregiving over the coming decade would be a boon for construction workers, truck drivers, electricians and home health aides. Both critics and supporters of the initiative say it will also […]

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Unlikely alliances push for action on infrastructure, but will they last?

As reported by Kate Ackley and Jessica Wehrman for Roll Call As President Joe Biden lays out a multitrillion-dollar plan Wednesday in Pittsburgh to remake the nation’s infrastructure, lobbying interests across sectors and spanning the ideological spectrum are forming tenuous alliances to prod Congress to act. The debate is expected to dominate the K Street […]

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Labor to DOT: Scrap Trump administration’s automated vehicles plan

As Reported by John Gallagher for Freightwaves Two prominent labor unions want the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to reject the Trump administration’s automated vehicle (AV) strategy for relying too much on the viewpoint from industry without enough attention paid to potential damage to worker safety and jobs. The 38-page Automated Vehicles Comprehensive Plan (AVCP), […]

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‘It’s Going to End Up Like Boeing’: How Freight Rail Is Courting Catastrophe

As reported by Aaron Gordon for Vice Just before 5 a.m. on August 2, 2017, Alice Murray was fast asleep when her entire house shook, almost as if a freight train had crashed into the block, she told the Cumberland Times-News. That’s exactly what happened. About 30 yards away, just off Cleveland Street in Hyndman, […]

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Court ruling may make it harder to cut train crew sizes to 1

An appeals court has rejected the Trump administration’s decision to drop a proposal to require freight trains to have at least two crew members, a plan that was drafted after several fiery crude oil train derailments.

The ruling Tuesday from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will likely make it harder for the railroad industry to reduce the number of crew members in most trains from two to just one. It opens the door for states to require two-man crews on freight trains that haul crude oil, ethanol and other hazardous commodities.

The court ruled that the Federal Railroad Administration acted arbitrarily when it dropped the safety measure President Barack Obama’s administration drafted in response to explosions of crude oil trains in the United States and Canada. The FRA said in 2019 that safety data didn’t support requiring two-man crews on all freight trains.

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As transit agencies ramp up mask enforcement, Congress airs concerns about safety of transportation workers

As Reported by Michael Laris for The Washington Post Bus passengers in Oklahoma City were first required to wear a mask in July to blunt the spread of the coronavirus. But the city’s small transit agency was hesitant to enforce it, partly out of fear of jeopardizing its relationship with the federal government, which helps […]

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Add unmet congressional mandates to Buttigieg’s plate

As Reported by Jessica Wehrman for Roll Call Pete Buttigieg, who was confirmed Tuesday as secretary of Transportation, has a pretty full plate that includes a transportation system pummeled by the COVID-19 pandemic and a possible infrastructure bill. But one of his tasks will be to finally implement parts of a law that passed months […]

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Mayor Pete becomes Secretary Pete, with a fan club and unusual celebrity status

As Reported by Tanya Snyder, Sam Mintz and Stephanie Beasley for Politico Pete Buttigieg will be the next Transportation secretary, bringing his political celebrity and legion of super fans to a mammoth agency that’s not used to headlines — unless they’re jokes about “Infrastructure Week.” After four years of leadership under former President Donald Trump’s […]

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Transit agencies brace for vaccination push amid murky guidance

As Reported by Chris Teale for Smart Cities Dive New York’s transit stations will glow this week with the memory of 136 passed Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) workers who lost their lives to the COVID-19 virus. “Travels Far,” an eight-minute video memorializing the MTA workers, friends and colleagues, will play on digital screens across more […]

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