Archive for August, 2015

Reduced speeds in school zones back in effect in September, Winnipeg

Speed limitPlease go slow as of September 1st, this bylaw comes into effect no exceptions.

Back in June of 2014, the city voted in favour for reduced speed limits in the area of elementary schools.

Traditional and photo enforcement will be implemented in these areas to ensure children’s safety, said police.

A list of the schools and roads affected can be found on the city’s traffic control site.

For your info 13 over the limit will get you a 250 fine and two demerits, remember your kid, sister, brother, mother, father or even your love one might be there picking up or dropping kids off.

U.S. Safe Bus campaign kicks into gear

SafeBusU.S. Locals have launched a campaign to get Congress to increase funding for buses. This is a critical campaign. Without increases, aging buses will stay on the road, raising major safety issues, forcing transit systems to shift some of the scarce local operating funds to the capital side. This will leave a gaping hole in operating budgets causing more service cuts and potential layoffs. As part of the campaign Locals are engaging riders to sign postcards calling for more transit funding to deliver to elected officials in their district offices. ATU is asking Locals to video their members interacting with passengers and email your video and any photos of congressional visits to post on our website and social media. Email your videos communications@atu.org.

Victory for local 1764

1764WinsMonths of organizing and agitating have paid off for Local 1764 in Washington, DC. MetroAccess Call Center members unanimously ratified their first contract since 2013! They won long-overdue wage increases, hours-per-week guarantees for full-time employees, and more. At the DC Circulator, First Transit has agreed to bring their sick leave policy in compliance with D.C.’s paid sick days law, to remove called-out points for current employees dinged for taking those days, and to re-hire employees unjustly fired for using earned leave. Now, Circulator members are ramping up for next year’s contract campaign. This kicks off with a September 10th “DC Fair Transit Forum” for anyone in the DC area to attend.

Milwaukee members hopeful as contract talks set to Resume

memphis_trolleyA new report titled Off the Rails: The false narrative of Memphis Trolleys by the Memphis Bus Riders Union reveals that, like a lot of U.S. cities, Memphis has a two-tier transportation system – trolleys for affluent white residents, downtown developers and tourists, and a deprived, shrinking bus system for those who depend on public transit. The shows that trolleys are not a viable alternative to buses in their usage, financial sustainability, or their social effects on Memphis at large. Read more.

Greetings!

proudtobecanadianFellow followers, friends, brothers and sisters in this transition process our website was updated and some files were missing.  Everything is back to normal and please enjoy visiting and remember that your donations are important in order to keep this site alive.

Thank you for your understanding and enjoy it.

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Justice in Grand Rapids

Local836_JusticeThreats by the Grand Rapids transit agency to arrest workers in the shadow of the Rosa Parks statue for leafleting riders will no longer fly after a federal judge granted a temporary restraining order against the Interurban Transit Partnership (The Rapid) for disciplining employees who hand out literature to riders about the agency’s planned retirement cuts for workers and fare hikes for the public.

“CEO Peter Varga and his henchmen violated our First and Fourteenth Amendment rights in a petty attempt to silence transit workers and divide them from riders. But when out-of-control public officials try robbing workers of their retirements and riders of their hard-earned money, we will not be divided and we will not be silent,” said Local 836 President RiChard Jackson.

Local 836’s contract with the agency expired on June 30th and negotiations have stalled over The Rapid leadership’s threat to unilaterally eliminate retirement security for bus operators and mechanics.

“These bus drivers are exposing the truth about Peter Varga and The Rapid’s unprecedented, taxpayer-funded political attack on working people,” said ATU International President Larry Hanley. “Varga illegally told them to sit down and shut up or be fired. Maybe he hasn’t seen that statue of Rosa Parks downtown or heard her story. But we know it well, and it looks like the Court does, too.” Watch TV news coverage.

We?ve now raised an additional $5000 to be added to the safe return of Thelma?s.

Please watch the video

Winnipeg Transit Union offers reward for safe return of Thelma Krull

Courtesy of CTV news Winnipeg

WATCH: MBTA Driver Credited With Saving Woman’s Life

save a lifeAn MBTA bus driver is being credited with saving a woman’s life thanks to some fast thinking last week.

According to the MBTA, Paul Healy was driving an MBTA bus in Quincy when he noticed that the driver of a black Jeep Compass appeared to be “slumping over” and losing control of her car. Fearing that she would hit someone or something, Healy maneuvered his bus in a way that forced the Jeep to come to a stop.

After the Jeep stopped, Healy notified his dispatcher, who called an ambulance. The ambulance took the driver to the Steward Satellite Emergency Facility in Quincy, where she was treated for what is believed to have been a seizure.

The woman later told MBTA Police that she wanted to thank Healy for “saving her life.”

Watch the video

Feds urge boost in motorcoach safety standards

Glenn County Sheriff?s officers walk past the remains of a tour bus that was struck by a FedEx truck on Interstate 5 in Northern California, a day after the April 10, 2014 crash that killed 10 people and injured dozens.  Federal safety officials have offered recommendations in the wake of the fiery crash.

Glenn County Sheriff?s officers walk past the remains of a tour bus that was struck by a FedEx truck on Interstate 5 in Northern California, a day after the April 10, 2014 crash that killed 10 people and injured dozens. Federal safety officials have offered recommendations in the wake of the fiery crash.

Federal safety officials this week urged secondary doors for motorcoaches and safety briefings before every trip, similar to those on planes.

The National Transportation Safety Board also reiterated a need for data recorders on buses and commercial trucks ?similar to those found on planes and trains? to provide important information when there?s a crash.

The recommendations issued at the conclusion of the NTSB?s investigation of a?fiery crash involving a FedEx truck and a bus in Northern California, could push significant reforms in the safety protocols of the?intercity bus transportation industry that provides as many as 605 million passenger trips annually.

The NTSB said passengers who choose a motorcoach to travel daily between cities deserve the same level of safety standards required for other modes of transportation such as train and air.

?We cannot undo the terrible toll of the crash,? NTSB Chairman Christopher Hart said, speaking about the April 10, 2014 Oakland, Calif. crash that killed 10 people, including the two drivers and five high school students.. ?We can, however, repeat our urgent message to regulators to take appropriate action to give motorcoach passengers a better chance of walking away from any such crash in the future.?

NTSB investigators said they couldn?t determine why the truck-tractor double trailer that was traveling southbound in the right lane on Interstate 5 moved into the left lane, crossed a 58-foot-wide median, and emerged into the northbound lanes, striking a passenger car and then crashing head-on into the motorcoach. The bus was carrying 42 students and three chaperones on a college tour trip. Dozens were injured, in addition to the 10 people killed.

Hart said?event data recorders could have helped investigators identify what caused the crash, but neither the truck-tractor nor the bus?was equipped with recorders. The board in the past has urged regulators to?develop and implement?standards for on-board recording of bus and truck crash data.

Transit Union Slams DRIVE Act

Transit nowYesterday, the Senate passed both a three-month transportation extension and a six-year reauthorization bill (albeit with three years of funding), which the Senate hopes to workshop with the House in the fall. The bill?s name itself ? the DRIVE Act ? raised the hackles of transit advocates. Looking deeper, it seems those advocates have more to worry about than just semantics.

The Amalgamated Transit Union summed up their top five concerns with the bill in a letter to the Senate before yesterday?s vote. The Union said that ?people who care about public transportation? should vote against the bill because it:

  • Expedites New Starts grant funding for public-private partnerships, encouraging communities to get into deals with private entities. The ATU worries that this policy could lead to ?bridges to nowhere? and calls it a ?shameless, partisan, and unprecedented nearly $2 billion give away to private ? mostly foreign ? corporations that have a long history of providing low quality transit service all across the nation.?
  • Removes the requirement for metropolitan planning organizations to include transit agency representatives on their governing boards.
  • Seals information about truck and bus crashes, keeping the public in the dark. The ATU charges that many bus crashes are the result of underpaid and overworked drivers employed by non-unionized bus companies falling asleep at the wheel.
  • Fails to restore bus capital funding that was cut from $980 million to $440 million in MAP-21. The union says without proper funding, unsafe and antiquated buses stay on the road way past the end of their useful life.
  • Is the result of an undemocratic process, as Banking Committee Chair Richard Shelby ?broke off negotiations and completed the public transportation title of the bill without reaching an agreement with Ranking Member [Sherrod] Brown.?

Meanwhile, Transportation for America criticized the Senate for missing a chance to give local communities more control over decisions that impact them. A bipartisan amendment from Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) to direct more funding to towns and cities was rejected, and the bill instead?reduces the overall amount of funding controlled at the community level by nearly $200 million in the first year alone.

And of course, T4A and many other observers are disappointed that the bill is funded ? well, half-funded ? with gimmicks and shell games rather than a sustainable income source that the transportation sector can count on.

The DRIVE Act will be the Senate?s contribution to a compromise to be worked out with the House, which hasn?t passed a bill yet. Maybe they will, or maybe they?ll go to conference without one, like last time, and just hack away at the Senate?s bill. Either way, House Speaker John Boehner says he?s ?confident? they?ll pass a multi-year bill in the fall.

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