FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Pete Donohue, 917-796-8176
May 24, 2019
TWU Condemns FTA for Failing to Protect Transit Operators
WASHINGTON, DC. – The Transport Workers Union (TWU) International President John Samuelsen released the following statement today in regard to the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Notice, billed as Protecting Public Transportation Operators from the Risk of Assault.
“The FTA has completely abdicated its responsibility and its obligations in this notice. Instead of conducting a serious rulemaking to address the escalating problem of assaults on transit operators, as it was directed to by Congress, the Administration has decided to ignore the problem entirely. This decision is unacceptable to the TWU and to every transit worker whose life is at risk simply by going to work.
“Just six days after a courageous bus driver in Tampa was brutally murdered while operating their vehicle, the FTA’s decision to take this action without comment from the public and without discussion with stakeholders is callous, inept, and morally wrong.
“This decision flies in the face of the direction issued by Congress in the FAST Act. Congress directed the FTA to address existing safety standards in our transit systems including ‘protecting rail and bus operators from the risk of assault’. The FTA has decided to ignore the will of the American people and their elected representatives.
“The TWU urges Congress to take action to ensure their direction is followed. The House and Senate should immediately pass the Transit Worker and Pedestrian Protection Act to ensure transit operators and the travelling public are safe in our transit systems.”