The DC council’s Committee on Transportation and the Environment will hear from the D.C. Department of Transportation and residents on Jan. 8 to discuss a controversial proposal to raise traffic fines in the District — among them, a $1,000 ticket for drivers going 25 over the posted speed limit. The proposals call for significant increases to several traffic offenses and the creation of new ones as part of Mayor Muriel Bowser’s Vision Zero plan. Read more here.
Jackie L. Jeter has been re-elected to her fourth term as President and Business Agent of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689. Officers winning re-election with Jeter include Financial-Secretary Treasurer Esker “Butch” Bilger and Recording Secretary Larry Lockley, along with the newly-elected Caroll “Popeye” Thomas as First vice-President and Raymond Jackson, who rounds out the union’s top five officers as the Second Vice-President.
Jeter took office as the Local 689 president in 2007, making history as the first African-American woman to head the local which will celebrate its 100th anniversary as the representative of transit workers of the greater Washington DC next month.
“I’m looking forward to continuing my service to the members of Local 689 for this next term,” says Jeter. “We know that there will be challenges for our union and for the authority, but we are confident that by working together, we can realize safe, affordable and reliable transit for the riding public we serve.”
Jeter will lead negotiations for the next Local 689 contract with Metro in 2016 and also plans to continue addressing the challenges Metro is facing with safety, as well as getting dedicated funding to sustain the transit system.
With more than 9,000 active members and an additional 3,000 retirees, Local 689 is the largest union representing workers of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) and the third largest labor union local in the nation.
WMATA reports that an X2 Metrobus and the DC Streetcar collided on H and 7th Streets NE just after noon on Thursday. The bus and the streetcar received minor damage. Of course the streetcar is still in "testing phase" and wasn't carrying passengers. WMATA couldn’t report how many people were on the X2, however, they said there were no injuries. Read DCist article here.
On Tuesday night, I left the AFL-CIO offices in downtown Washington, D.C., hopped a bus to Columbia Heights and planned to transfer to another bus and make my way home. The wait was 15 minutes, though, and I knew that to take the Metro at Columbia Heights station one stop to the Georgia Avenue-Petworth station, the one closest to my house, and the walk afterward would take a little less time. So I jumped on the train, which was waiting for me in the station, and got ready for a train ride that normally takes less than five minutes. Two hours later, when I walked out of the Georgia Avenue station, amid the emergency vehicles, most I've ever seen in my life, needless to say, I wasn't having the best night of my life.
It could have been a lot worse. But quickly, union members stepped in and made sure that what could have been a dangerous ordeal was safe and orderly for the passengers caught in the tunnel.
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has approved a "correction action plan" for the Washington, D.C., Metrorail subway system after a series of incidents that have raised questions about passenger safety.
The plan lays out Metro's schedule for implementing a list of nearly 80 safety fixes that have been recommended by the FTA after a passenger was killed on a train that filled with smoke after it experienced electrical problems in January.
The FTA said Thursday that the agency that operates the D.C. system should "provide unwavering focus and attention to effectively implement the plan and better provide the level of safety its passengers and workers deserve.