Transportation Technology

Amtrak Reforms

Humans Should Drive Our Transit Future, Not Autonomous Vehicles

By John Samuelsen, International President, TWU

Just like the pilots in command of a highly automated aircraft, human operators must be onboard all passenger transport vehicles no matter their level of automation. Congress has a chance to affirm this safety standard as it debates an appropriate federal response to the rapid and hasty emergence of largely unregulated autonomous vehicle (AV) technologies. Every day, in transit systems across America, frontline workers safely operate buses, trains and vans. They respond to emergencies, ensure accessibility for the disabled and elderly, and keep passengers as safe as possible during a deadly pandemic. These workers are trained to perform these duties simultaneously while driving vehicles filled with passengers.

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The Future of Transit Should Be Determined by the People, Not Big Tech

By John Samuelsen, International President, TWU

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on public transit systems across the country. Ridership has plummeted, budget challenges have worsened, and tragically, thousands of front-line transit workers have fallen ill or died while performing a heroic and essential service. Amid the crisis, large technology and mobility companies are using COVID-19 as an anchor to push an agenda that isn’t about solving our mobility challenges but about cashing in on their big bet on autonomous vehicle technology and eventually, grabbing a piece of the public transit market.

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