TTD Release – Union Leaders Call on FTA to Set Mandatory Safety Standards, Ensure Pay for Frontline Transit Workers

TCU Members are working at the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis. Stories of public transit workers contracting COVID-19 and tragically dying are already emerging nationwide. Workers can’t afford to wait: we must act now to protect them & the safety of the traveling public.

In a letter to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) the Transportation Trades Department AFL-CIO (TTD), of which TCU is a member, requested action from the FTA to protect our workforce. All of transportation labor is calling on FTA to take the following measures:

First, the Federal Transit Administration should issue immediate and specific interim guidance to public transportation agencies and local governments on the minimum level of PPE for essential frontline employees and cleaning procedures for public transportation services and facilities. At a minimum, this should include masks, gloves, and cleaning supplies for transit workers; and mandatory cleaning standards for trains, buses, subway cars, and public transit stations that are consistent with existing guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

Second, if a public transportation agency or local government is not able to meet these guidelines and is therefore not able to provide service, and in keeping with the intent of the CARES Act, the FTA must ensure that transit agencies provide continuity of pay to employees until such a time that the established requirements can be met.

Finally, the FTA should urge transit agencies to follow back-door loading policies on all buses, when possible, for all non-ADA passengers to minimize exposure to bus operators, and to set temporary maximum passenger loads that allow for social distancing of passengers.

Taking these steps now will ensure not only the health and safety of America’s frontline public transportation workforce, but also that this critical transportation service continues to operate regularly when we emerge from this crisis.

“TCU members are at the frontlines of this crisis all across this country,” said TCU President Bob Scardelletti. “We need to ensure the workers, their families and the riding public continue to remain safe.”

Click here to read the full release from the TTD.