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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Rail’s security document on the agenda- POLITICO

With assist from Tanya Snyder and Oriana Pawlyk 

— A brand new rule requiring railroads to start out fatigue administration packages is introduced a day earlier than Congress examines the business’s security document.

— NHTSA is popping out quickly with its report on crashes associated to autos with superior driver help programs.

— One of many federal authorities’s final Covid guidelines ends, as there is not any extra pre-departure testing necessities for all vacationers coming into the US.

IT’S MONDAY: You’re studying Morning Transportation, your Washington coverage information to all the pieces that strikes. As all the time, ship ideas, pitches, suggestions and track lyrics to [email protected]. You’ll find all of us on Twitter: @alextdaugherty,@TSnyderDC and @Oriana0214.

“If any individual says they figured it out/They usually’re leaving any room for doubt/Provide you with a check/Yeah, you want a check.”

NEW SAFETY REGS COMING: A brand new rule revealed within the Federal Register on Monday requires sure railroads to implement fatigue threat administration packages that should be permitted by the Federal Railroad Administration. The brand new rule announcement comes a day earlier than the Home Transportation Committee holds a rail security listening to on Tuesday. Greg Regan, president of the AFL-CIO’s Transportation Trades Division, mentioned his coalition’s unions “welcome” the brand new rule that may assist handle “scheduling, drug and alcohol testing and hours of service considerations.”

“This rule offers a stable framework for continued engagement between labor unions and the FRA to make sure that employers are offering working situations that preserve employees and the general public secure,” Regan mentioned in a press release.

INDUSTRY CONCERNS: The Affiliation of American Railroads, forward of Tuesday’s listening to, shared a press release with MT outlining its points with the FRA’s oversight of automated observe inspection know-how, arguing that the FRA “just lately refused to increase the geographic scope of 1 railroad’s ATI program and refused to allow one other’s to proceed,” together with delaying different functions to increase the know-how. And AAR continues to boost considerations with a regulation that will require railroads to position a minimum of two employees within the cab of a locomotive always.

“Current and anticipated coverage from the FRA raises questions concerning the company’s dedication to progress and willingness to collaborate with stakeholders, comparable to business,” AAR wrote in its assertion.

CHINESE RAIL CARS TO CHICAGO RAISE ALARMS: The Rail Safety Alliance on Friday known as on FTA and members of Congress from Illinois to analyze the supply of Chinese language-made rail automobiles to the Chicago Transit Authority — reported within the Chinese language press as “the biggest railcar venture exported by a Chinese language enterprise to a developed nation” — regardless of federal Purchase America provisions. The automobiles have been made by CRRC, which was explicitly focused by a regulation enacted in late 2019 banning the usage of federal funds to buy rail rolling inventory from Chinese language state-run firms.

“Time and time once more, communist China’s state-owned enterprises, together with CRRC, overtly ignore U.S. regulation,” the Rail Safety Alliance mentioned in a press release. “It’s time they have been held accountable.” RSA advised POLITICO that whereas CTA “does bear some duty,” the onus is on CRRC to certify Construct America compliance.

CTA responds: CTA spokesperson Brian Steele mentioned that the company’s railcars absolutely adjust to the Purchase America Act and that 70 p.c of the parts used within the new automobiles are made in the US, although the metal automobile physique shells are shipped right here from China. He additionally famous that CTA permitted this contract with CRRC almost 4 years earlier than the regulation in opposition to Chinese language railcars was enacted.

CRASH REPORT COMING: NHTSA is anticipated to launch quickly its report on crashes associated to Degree 2 vehicles — these with superior driver help programs, or ADAS — and autos with greater ranges of automation. The report is the product of the knowledge NHTSA collected by means of the standing basic order the company issued a 12 months in the past, requiring producers and operators of automated and driver-assist-equipped autos to report crashes to the company. In August, the order was amended to require these studies to be made inside 24 hours. The requirement is in impact till June 2024, so the upcoming report is probably going not the final phrase on the difficulty, however will replicate the info the company has collected so far and will trace at its subsequent strikes. Business officers are hoping the info can be contextualized with figures on crashes ensuing from human conduct.

INFLATION BITES BACK: Could noticed costs for used automobiles and vehicles rise for the primary time in three months as general inflation recorded its largest 12-month enhance since 1981, your MT host studies.

GAS-POWERED: The most recent Shopper Worth Index numbers, launched Friday, present an 8.6 p.c enhance in costs over the previous 12 months, with a 1 p.c enhance in simply the final month. Unsurprisingly, document excessive fuel costs have been the biggest driver of inflation, with costs up 16.9 p.c within the final month and 106.7 p.c over the previous 12 months. Fuel costs throughout the nation on Sunday hit one other all-time excessive of $5.01 per gallon on common, in accordance with AAA.

BACK TO WHERE WE WERE: However the value of used automobiles and vehicles, one of many largest drivers of general inflation late final 12 months, crept up once more after CPI knowledge for February, March and April confirmed that used automobile costs have been easing down regardless of an enormous bounce in gasoline costs after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

#VANLIFE: Not all automobile varieties noticed the identical value will increase. Whereas most automobiles and SUVs noticed comparable value will increase over the previous 12 months, the value of pickup vehicles is down 0.7 p.c from Could 2021 and the value of vans has spiked by 27.6 p.c.

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COVID ALERT: DOT Deputy Secretary Polly Trottenberg examined optimistic for Covid on Friday morning and mentioned she was “experiencing delicate signs.” She mentioned she plans to make money working from home till she will safely return to the workplace. Secretary Pete Buttigieg examined optimistic final Monday.

SHIPPING OUT: Whereas Sunday’s bipartisan deal on weapons will undoubtedly dominate dialogue on the Hill this week, one other bipartisan effort to impose new guidelines on giant container ships is poised to lastly clear Congress and President Joe Biden’s desk. The Home is anticipated to vote on S. 3580 early this week, and the invoice’s eventual passage into regulation will grant the Federal Maritime Fee considerably extra authority for in depth rulemaking and potential crackdowns on ocean-going container ships, the place the largest gamers are all international firms.

“The Senate model, whereas not excellent, goes to ship actual worth for ag producers and producers,” Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) advised your MT host.

COMPLAINT DEPARTMENT: American exporters have complained because the onset of the pandemic that ocean carriers have been refusing to ship American items and supplies overseas in favor of sending empty containers again to fill with international exports sooner.

FILL UP ON ETHANOL: The Home can also be anticipated to think about a broad invoice, H.R. 7606 (117), that features a provision that will enable {the summertime} sale of E15 gasoline. The proposal was initially written by Reps. Angie Craig (D-Minn.) and Adrian Smith (R-Neb.) and would enable the EPA to grant waivers for the year-round sale of E15 and higher-blend fuels. The EPA already issued an emergency waiver for summer season E15 gross sales in April, as a part of the White Home’s makes an attempt to decrease gasoline prices after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

TESTS BE GONE: Oriana studies that the Biden administration lifted pre-departure testing necessities for all vacationers coming into the US from abroad, eradicating as of midnight on Sunday one of many final Covid-19 journey restrictions nonetheless in place in America.

TRAVEL INDUSTRY REJOICES: Buttigieg mentioned the announcement was “welcome information for vacationers and for hundreds of thousands of American employees whose jobs are supported by worldwide journey.” Airways and the journey business spent months advocating for eradicating the testing requirement, arguing it discouraged air journey, whereas vacationers stranded abroad usually sought workarounds to get into the U.S. by means of a land border, the place the testing requirement for journey didn’t exist.

PUBLIC HEALTH CONCERNS? NOT REALLY: The general public well being sector additionally appears on board with the choice. Scott Becker, CEO on the Affiliation of Public Well being Laboratories, cheered the choice, saying that “I used to be by no means satisfied it was including any actual safety” and that abroad “my expertise was that it appears to be ‘pay to play’ for a detrimental check.”

ASSAULT WON’T FLY: Airline employees organized with the Transport Staff Union of America on Friday launched a nationwide marketing campaign known as Assault Received’t Fly, highlighting the surge of harassment and assault by passengers on airline employees. They’re calling for legislative and regulatory motion, in addition to airline insurance policies, to guard these employees, and so they help H.R. 7433 (117), the Safety from Abusive Passengers Act. TWU members will maintain actions at main airports throughout the nation asking employees and passengers to signal a letter calling for the creation of a Flight Attendants Invoice of Rights. They will even be handing out bag tags and wristbands that say “Assault Received’t Fly” and postcards directing folks to a web site with extra details about the marketing campaign.

IN MEMORIAM: Greg Andrews, senior accomplice at Smith Dawson & Andrews, died June 5 after a quick sickness. He labored for many years in lobbying, politics and public affairs, particularly in aviation circles, together with a number of presidential campaigns, Democratic Nationwide Conventions and DOT within the Carter administration. A memorial can be held in Washington in September. (h/t Daniel Lippman)

Doug Carr was chosen by Trottenberg to be CEO of the Union Station Redevelopment Company, a nonprofit tasked with preserving Union Station’s structure and sustaining the station’s performance. Carr beforehand labored for the Moynihan Station Growth Company, which led the event of Moynihan Prepare Corridor in New York Metropolis.

— “Governor: U.S. needs revisions to New York congestion pricing plan.” Reuters.

— “Delays, shortages and strikes: Can the aviation business get airborne by summer season?” Monetary Instances.

— “Justice Dept. says it received’t reopen Ghaisar investigation.” WTOP.

— “Rumbling by means of trendy Jordan, a railway from the previous.” The New York Instances.

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