-Las Vegas, NV, member Richard Kuna was at the end of his line when he parked his bus near Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino just after 10 p.m. on October 1. That’s when he thought he heard jackhammering and wondered why road work was being done at that time of night. He then drove to the strip unaware a gunman had opened fire on a concert. A crowd of people started pounding on the door of his bus, begging to get in. “They were panicked, crying, screaming and some were bleeding,” Kuna said. “What else could I do?” Roughly 50 people piled into the bus and he took them to safety. The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada recognized Kuna and his fellow driver Antonio McLandau for helping concertgoers flee the deadly shooting. ATU praises Kuna and McLandau for their bravery and heroism during the tragic shooting.
In wake of driver shooting, St. Louis Local calls for better protection & driver workstation
In response to last weekend’s shooting of a St. Louis Metro bus driver, Local 788
is demanding major safety changes to protect not only bus drivers, but riders, motorists, and pedestrians, as well. Local President Reginald Howard says drivers are often the targets of verbal and physical abuse. “Operators get insulted, spit on,” he says. Howard also pointed out that there are other safety issues for operators, riders and pedestrians including driver blind spots, and seats that cause back problems. ATU has launched a union-wide campaign calling on transit agencies, elected officials and bus manufacturers to fix driver workstations to prevent accidents and driver injuries. Watch video.
Winnipeg Local warns that re-opening intersection could cause pedestrians harm
Allowing pedestrians into a dangerous intersection in Winnipeg will cause traffic delays and pose a safety hazard to pedestrians says Local 1505
-Winnipeg, MB. The millions of dollars proposed for the initiative could be better spent improving transit operations and other infrastructure needs, says Local President Aleem Chaudhary. “We just don’t need it,” says Chaudhary. One of the main reasons [the intersection has been blocked off since 1979] is because it was a pedestrian hazard. It’s going to slow down traffic.”
Connecticut transit workers call for worker, rider advisory positions on SEAT Board
Citing the possibility of fare increases and service cuts, Local 1209-New London, CT, called for the creation of transit worker and rider advisory positions on the Southeast Area Transit District Board. “SEAT employees serve as the ‘eyes and ears’ of the transit system and bus riders know firsthand the areas where SEAT needs to improve,” Local 1209 President Jaroslaw Pizunski told the board. “SEAT is now facing some very tough decisions. Workers and riders could educate board meetings on real world issues impacting the transit system.”
Allentown, Orlando Locals pitch in for Puerto Rico relief effort
ATU members have a long history of helping those in need. And Locals 956-Allentown, PA, and 1596-Orlando, FL, are stepping up to help the people of Puerto Rico devastated by hurricanes. Members of Local 956 are teaming with their transit agency to volunteer time on their buses collecting new household goods and toys and non-perishable food items for Puerto Rico. Local 956 President Ricky Vega says, “Many of our members have family on the island, as do many LANTA riders.” In Orlando members of Local 1596 are joining forces with church groups to pack relief boxes with food and necessities for the hurricane-ravaged island.