Local 208 President Andrew Jordan testified before the Ohio House of Representatives Transportation and Public Safety Committee hearing Wednesday on the potential impacts of driverless technology. He was joined by nearly 50 bus operators and mechanics, who donned masks reading “we will not be silenced,” and afterwards held a press conference and lobbied to discuss the effect of driverless buses on their livelihoods.
The goal of the testimony and accompanying press a conference was to warn legislators and the traveling public about the potential pitfalls of deploying driverless transit vehicles without full consideration of the issue.
“We recognize that driverless technology is on our doorstep, and we aren’t opposed to these technological advances,” said Jordan said. “But we must ensure that the technology is implemented in a way that protects the public safety and jobs. An operator sees a mother crossing the street and can stop for them in an emergency. A bus without a driver can’t do that.”
Together with TWU International, Local 208 will continue to fight to raise awareness to the potential devastating effects driverless transit buses could have on the thousands of Ohioans who earn a strong, middle-class living by driving and maintaining transit buses. They will also raise safety concerns that are unique to large buses, and advocate that legislators address these issues head on. Check out this link for one of the several pieces of media coverage of the day’s events.